- The Washington Times - Monday, May 30, 2016

For months the press has offered catty speculations about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s efforts to raise money for military veterans and wounded warriors. Since January, multiple reports have questioned how much money had been raised, where the funds went and whether Mr. Trump donated personally or through the Donald J. Trump Foundation. Several news accounts framed the fundraising as a campaign tool rather than a heartfelt gesture; Mr. Trump’s critics time and again cast him as disingenuous, eager to use vets as a “political stunt.”

On Tuesday morning Mr. Trump revealed all during a press conference at Trump Towers in New York City. He listed the 40-plus charities which so far have received $5.6 million from his donation efforts. They include the Fisher House Foundation, K-9s for Warriors and the Navy SEAL Foundation, among the many.

“All of the money has been paid out,” Mr. Trump said during the event, which at times turned into a contentious back-and-forth with several reporters.

“There are so many people who are so thankful for what we did. I’m totally accountable, but I didn’t want to have credit for it,” he noted.

There are some numbers already afoot: DonaldTrumpforVets.com, an official site established in January, clearly states it raised $1.7 million for military causes. A recent Forbes magazine analysis also found that the Trump Foundation donated $5.5 million to 298 charities during a four-year period ending in 2013, though the report cited Mr. Trump for donating $57,000 to seven organizations that directly benefited vets. Local New York vets who do not support Mr. Trump plan to demonstrate outside of the building, according to Americans United for Change, a progressive group.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump praised the 16,500 U.S. Border Patrol agents who recently endorsed him, tweeting Monday that their support proved that his promise to secure the “wall” between the U.S. and Mexico was a viable one.

“We need a person in the White House who doesn’t fear the media, who doesn’t embrace political correctness, who doesn’t need the money, who is familiar with success, who won’t bow to foreign dictators, who is pro-military and values law enforcement, and who is angry for America and not subservient to the interests of other nations. Donald Trump is such a man,” the organization noted in their endorsement.

LIBERTARIAN MOMENT OF TRUTH

“The eyes of the world are upon us. Now is our time to break through. We have barely 5 months left between now and Election Day. Let’s make every day count.”

— Libertarian National Committee Chairman Nicholas Sarwark, in a new message to Libertarian voters

FOR THE LEXICON

“The Gary Johnson Victory Fund”

— Newly established fundraising apparatus established with the Federal Election Commission to benefit Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson. The fund has partnered with 15 state Libertarian groups and can accept individual donations up to $80,000.

“The Gary Johnson Victory Fund presents a monumental step for a third party to enter the big leagues in campaign finance,” the candidate says in his initial outreach. “We have built the infrastructure to give those dissatisfied with Trump and Hillary a major reason to invest their personal funds for liberty, and victory. We ask all patriotic voters with means to consider a substantial contribution.”

NIXON’S NEW OFFICE

Some news from Yorba Linda, California: The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum tells Inside the Beltway that plans are underway to recreate Richard Nixon’s Oval Office at the site, down to the last historic detail.

Opening in mid-October, the display will include exact replicas from the 37th president’s daily workplace, including the Wilson Desk that Nixon preferred — now used by Vice President Joseph R. Biden in the U.S. Capitol. Other features on display will be an iconic bust of Abraham Lincoln, a portrait of George Washington, deep-blue carpet with the presidential seal and curtains in the rich ochre color that first lady Pat Nixon once called “California gold.”

Selfies are welcome, the museum advises.

The renovation was made possible by a gift from real estate investor George Leon Argyros, former U.S. ambassador to Spain and owner of the Seattle Mariners throughout the 1980s. Mr. Argyros says he hopes the project will inspire visitors “to learn from our history, appreciate American civics and shape better futures for themselves and others.”

FRIENDS OF HILLARY

Beginning Tuesday, there will be nine assorted private fundraisers this week for Hillary Clinton’s campaign hosted by, among others, former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker, rock musician Jon Bon Jovi, actress Debra Messing, soon-to-be-mother Chelsea Clinton and tennis great Billie Jean King, who is actually hosting an event for Mrs. Clinton in Paris.

But we want to be fair here. There’s one fundraiser this week on for GOP rival Donald Trump in the Virginia suburbs outside the nation’s capital — this organized by a prominent lobbyist who previously was not always very fond of the nominee. The host, who once supported Jeb Bush, hopes to raise about $300,000.

AND SOME OTHER MONEY TO THINK ABOUT

So far the two Democratic presidential hopefuls have spent $241,445,681 on radio and TV advertising for their campaigns. Hillary Clinton’s campaign dropped $165,554,126, while Sen. Bernard Sanders spent $75,891,555. These big fat numbers originate in a meticulous Ad Age analysis of data from the Kanta Media Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks broadcast expenditures.

And from the other side: Republican nominee Donald Trump has spent $21,152,491 on his broadcast outreach. Those who are against him spent more. Five political action committees who are primarily targeting disgruntled Republicans to counter Mr. Trump have spent $28,100,052.

POLL DU JOUR

61 percent of Americans say it’s important for presidential nominees to release their tax returns; 44 percent of Republicans, 58 percent of independents and 80 percent of Democrats agree.

38 percent overall do not think it is important; 57 percent of Republicans, 42 percent of independents and 20 percent of Democrats agree.

61 percent overall say Donald Trump should release his tax returns; 38 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of independents and 81 percent of Democrats agree.

21 percent say it is not necessary; 37 percent of Republicans, 22 percent of independents and 9 percent of Democrats agree.

18 percent overall are unsure about the issue; 25 percent of Republicans, 19 percent of independents and 11 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 2,000 U.S. adults conducted May 20-23.

• Cranky complaints, clever asides to [email protected] FOllow her on Twitter @HarperBulletin

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