- GoFundMe will refund more than $20 million in donations in an online effort to build President Donald Trump's border wall.
Triple-amputee veteran Brian Kolfage launched a GoFundMe account in December, quickly piling up donations as Trump was unable to get Congress to fund the wall - leading to a now three-week-old partial shutdown of the government. It was removed by the social media company previous year. "If for ANY reason we don't reach our goal we will refund your donation.' However, that did not happen".
The campaign raised a little more than $20 million from more than 337,000 donors. He said donors will be given a choice to either receive a refund or have their contributions transferred to the new organization.
The refund announcement came a day after BuzzFeed News reported that Kolfage pocketed money in a previous GoFundMe campaign meant to help other wounded soldiers.
In his update, Kolfage said that upon seeing the fundraiser's "success", he reached out to several experts in "politics, national security, construction, and finance" and created a team that "has spent countless hours over the holidays reviewing all issues pertaining to the construction of a southern border wall".
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This is why, he wrote, his new non-profit will now accept any donations previously made to the GoFundMe.
Among the members of "We Build the Wall", Kolfage names former Wisconsin Sheriff David Clarke, Blackwater founder Erik Prince and former Kansas Secretary of Sate Kris Kobach, among others.
In the update, Kolfage said the group "is highly confident" that it 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".
A new site has been set up for fundraising www.webuildthewall.us/team while those who donated who want their money moved to the project have a link on the original GoFundMe page HERE. "If they do not take that step, they will automatically receive a full refund". Kolfage raised $16,246 for a veteran mentorship program, but BuzzFeed News reports that after collecting the funds, he didn't use the money as promised: none of the partners he claimed to have worked with - including Walter Reed, Brooke Army Medical Center and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany - have any records that Kolfage worked with their patients or donated money, according to representatives at the centers that BuzzFeed News spoke to.
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