Veteran Says Mainstream Media Reports Claiming End to Border Wall Fundraiser are ‘Blatantly False,’ More Than $20 Million Raised

Purple Heart veteran Brian Kolfage came out swinging against the mainstream news media over the weekend after multiple outlets falsely sounded the death knell of his border wall fundraiser and attacked his honesty.

The triple amputee veteran took to Twitter and at least one other outlet to refute false reports that GoFundMe would refund $20 million collected for the wall because Kolfage’s goal had not been met or that he was funneling the money elsewhere. The media campaigns used half-truths to question the honesty of Kolfage, who has been transparent in changing his goal from giving the donations to the shut-down government to build the wall to instead planning to use the money in a nonprofit to buy land on the border and build the wall faster and more inexpensively.

Kolfage said on a video on his website that to counter the Democrats – who do not want the wall – he changed his charity’s mission, and gave it the name “We Build the Wall.”

The GoFundMe page is here, and shows donations of all amounts continuing to pour in at more than $20.4 million. Kolfage says people who donated before Jan. 11 can either receive a refund or opt-in to have their donation still count:

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

★ 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.

★ Our team strongly believes that we can complete our segments of the wall for less than half of the government’s estimated costs on a per mile basis.

A list of Kolfage’s partners is here, and includes Ret. USAF Brigadier Gen. Dr. Robert S. Spalding III, former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO-06) and ex-Navy SEAL Erik Prince who founded Blackwater USA.

Kolfage tweeted, “The fake news liberal media said the ‘Gofundme me is cancelled! All money refunded’ WRONG! RAISED $200,000 yesterday! We are building the wall And our team is getting bigger names and huge huge private donors coming forward! $1billion is our goal!”

BuzzFeed reported that Kolfage would give the money to a nonprofit he created and that GoFundMe would refund donations. The site also assailed his motives, calling him a right-wing conspiracy theorist and questioning that he ever helped veterans at military hospitals. What was their source? Unnamed “spokespersons.”

CNN screamed in a headline: “GoFundMe to refund the $20 million raised for the border wall.” The Huffington Post joined the attack as well, rehashing many of BuzzFeed’s claims.

Kolfage appeared on One America News Network Saturday and was interviewed by journalist Neil McCabe to continue his fight against the lies. The network called the false news “a smear campaign.” Kolfage said BuzzFeed’s report was “blatantly false,” including allegations he owes money to a hospital. He set the record straight on his charitable efforts to fund his traveling around the nation to speak to other disabled veterans, for which he raised money after government budget cuts threatened to end the work.

“We’re building this wall ourselves, he told the network. “We’re sick of this inaction.”

Video of the interview is available here.

Before the mainstream media smear campaign began, Kolfage spoke on Dec. 20 to the Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – in an exclusive interview about his GoFundMe account. The interview and audio are here.

One topic Kolfage discussed was the origin of his idea:

Gill: How did you come up with this idea? They GoFund just about everything else why not go fund the wall?

Kolfage: Well, I think you said it the best, why not? Really I think why hasn’t it been done.  Everyone has been talking about it in the news for about year now people talked about doing it.  Some people have done it.  But none of them really got,  caught traction. But this is the one that caught traction and it’s just timing.  And probably the point that I’m a triple amputee and speaking out probably…

Meanwhile, Kolfage is using Twitter to great effect. He tweeted, “HUGE update from @gofundme 91% success rate on converting donors to BUILD THE WALL! 89 days left!”

And he tweeted, “Our Lawyers got a call from @Gofundme they want all the news outlets to call them so you can START reporting the FACTS –  stop spreading LIES & FAKE NEWS! BUSTED! @BuzzFeed @NBCNews #ThatsGottaHurt.”

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.

 

 

 

 

 

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One Thought to “Veteran Says Mainstream Media Reports Claiming End to Border Wall Fundraiser are ‘Blatantly False,’ More Than $20 Million Raised”

  1. WHEN are the American People going to demand our News Media be held accountable for their outright lies? It is an every day, ongoing assault on the truth that we witness. What ever happened to those “Truth In Reporting” laws we used to have? It’s time for Congress to start writing some new laws to hold them accountable for the misinformation they are intentionally disseminating.

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