The Slatest

Trump’s Veterans Story Doesn’t Match Up With the Dates on His Own Checks

Donald Trump speaks at a rally on May 25, 2016 in Anaheim, California.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

As my colleague Jim Newell wrote, Donald Trump’s angrily defensive posture Tuesday at a press conference detailing his fundraising for veterans groups was evidence that the press had finally found a way to rattle the presumptive GOP nominee. “Belligerence in reporters’ faces is a sign that the reporters in question have done something worthwhile and, by applying pressure, forced an insecure public figure to bend,” Newell wrote. Later that same day, the Associated Press found more evidence of just how far the media had forced Trump to bend.

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The newswire reached out to all 41 different groups the presumptive GOP nominee name-checked at the press conference and, of the 30 that responded, “about half said they had received checks from Trump just last week,” roughly four months after the fundraiser in question and weeks after reporters began pressing Trump to document the donations.

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It gets worse: Several of those checks, including the personal one for $1 million that Trump cut himself, were dated May 24, 2016, aka the very same day that Trump faced pointed questions from the Washington Post about both the amount of money he raised at his January fundraiser and the amount that had made its way to veterans charities. “You know, you’re a nasty guy,” Trump told the Post reporter, David A. Fahrenthold, who had already detailed discrepancies in the campaign’s version of events earlier that week. “You’re really a nasty guy. I gave out millions of dollars that I had no obligation to do.” (On Tuesday, Trump was still sticking to his story. “Most of the money went out quite a while ago,” he said at the press conference without offering any evidence to support that claim.)

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So to recap, it wasn’t until reporters like Fahrenthold started pressuring Trump that: the celebrity billionaire was forced to tacitly concede he never raised the full $6 million he claimed he did on the night of the fundraiser and, more importantly, that a large chunk of the money that was ultimately raised—including Trump’s seven-figure donation—actually made its way to the veterans groups.

Elsehwere in Slate:

Read more Slate coverage of the 2016 campaign.

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