GoFundMe launched by disabled veteran to fund Trump’s border wall surpasses $20M

GoFundMe Will Refund All Donations Made to Florida Veteran’s ‘Fund the Wall’ Campaign

Money raised by a GoFundMe campaign started by Brian Kolfage, a triple-amputee Air Force veteran, that was meant to raise $1 billion for a wall along the US-Mexico border will be refunded to donors upon request, after the online cash aggregate noted that contributions fell staggeringly short of the intended goal.

A BuzzFeed News investigation published Thursday alleges Kolfage "spent more than a decade carefully crafting his public persona as an altruistic, conservative public figure", but quoted some people who had worked with him that, "he can be vengeful and malicious, and that the pursuit of profits above all else fueled his behavior".

Kolfage, a United States veteran and Trump supporter, updated the campaign's GoFundMe page on Friday announcing the refunds.

He also said on the page that "100 percent" of the monies raised would be refunded if the $1 billion goal hadn't been met or if it hadn't "come significantly close".

Kolfage gave the option of giving their GoFundMe contribution to himself and a team that he assembled to privately construct the wall.

"We are better equipped than our own government to use the donated funds to build an actual wall on the southern border", he wrote.

"However, that did not happen", Whithorne said.

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GoFundMe Director of North America Communications Bobby Whithorne said in a statement that all donors will automatically receive a refund unless they decide to send the money to Kolfage's nonprofit, which is classified by the IRS as a "social welfare organization".

In a statement on January 11, Kolfage explained the choice to create a 501 (c)(4). Kolfage blamed Washington gridlock in part, saying that "the federal government won't be able to accept our donations anytime soon".

"'We are grateful for the President's steadfast commitment to border security, the single most important issue plaguing our country, ' said Kolfage".

Trump is demanding $5 billion in funding to build the border wall due to what he calls a crisis of drugs and crime. Kolfage wrote. "I will personally not take a penny of compensation from these donations".

In a statement, GoFundMe cited Kolfage's initial statements on the fundraising page as proof that the initial campaign had failed to achieve its goal.

Kolfage explained the need for a private firm to build the wall. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)"Our highly experienced team is highly confident that we can complete significant segments of the wall in less time, and for far less money, than the federal government, while meeting or exceeding all required regulatory, engineering, and environmental specifications", said the GoFundMe.

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