Trump Antes Up $1 Million for Vets at Benefit Staged to Spite Fox News
Donald Trump said he wanted to use his “greed” for good during a fund-raiser for veterans in Des Moines, Iowa Thursday night.
In a feud with Fox News and Fox anchor Megyn Kelly, the GOP front-runner skipped sharing a stage with the other leading Republican presidential candidates, who faced off just a few miles down the road in their final debate – moderated by Kelly – before the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses. Instead, Trump trumpeted the success of his competing event at Iowa’s Drake University – a night of speeches and bombast that he compared to the Oscars.
“This is the Academy Awards! We’re actually told that we have more cameras than they do by quite a bit,” Trump said.
The billionaire businessman said in a statement issued by his campaign later Thursday night that the event raised “more than $6 million” for vets – including $1 million he anted up himself.
Reading off a list of some of the night’s biggest donors, he said: “Donald Trump, another great builder in New York, now a politician – I can’t stand this – a politician? I don’t want to be called a politician. All talk, no action. I refuse to be called a politician! Donald Trump gave $1 million, okay?”
In one of his more inscrutable riffs, Trump told the crowd at Drake University, “I don’t feel good about running down money because my whole life I’ve been greedy greedy, greedy. I’ve grabbed all the money I could get. I’m so greedy. But now I want to be greedy for the United States. I want to grab all that money for the United States.”
And he added his two cents to the talk among political analysts over whether his debate boycott would help or hurt him among voters. “You know what? I don’t know. Is it for me, personally, a good thing, a bad thing, will I get more votes will I get less votes? Nobody knows. Who the hell knows?”
But he suggested he has a secret weapon in the family, his pregnant daughter Ivanka, and said he’s already talked to her about what more she could do to help his campaign: “‘Ivanka,’ I said, ‘it would be so great if you had your baby in Iowa.’ It would be so great. I’d definitely win!”