Donald Trump Melts Down In Epic Whinefest


Donald Trump is pissed off again. Surprise! This morning he held a press conference to announce who was getting the money from his January veterans fundraiser, and immediately proceeded to tee off on the press for…lèse-majesté? I’m not sure what else to call it. Trump pretty plainly tried to avoid making the personal $1 million contribution he promised at the time, and now he’s outraged about being held accountable for this. Here’s a quick rundown.

What Trump Says Now

What He Said Then

On why it took so long to disburse the money: “When you send checks for hundreds of thousands of dollars to people and to companies and to groups that you’ve never heard of, charitable organizations, you have to vet it. You send people out. You do a lot of work.”

The organizations had been chosen before the event even took place: “The night benefited twenty-two different organizations, a number of which are Iowa based Veterans groups.”

On the purity of his motivations: “I wanted to do this out of the goodness of my heart. I didn’t want to do this where the press is all involved.”

This was a publicity stunt from the start, driven by Trump’s feud with Fox News: “When they sent out the wise guy press releases a little while ago done by some PR person along with Roger Ailes, I said ‘Bye bye.'”

On his well-known penchant for low-key philanthropy: “If we could, I wanted to keep it private because I don’t think it’s anybody’s business if I wanna send money to the vets.”

This might be the most laughable thing Trump has ever said. When he announced his boycott of the Fox debate, Trump explicitly made it all about ratings: “They can’t toy with me like they toy with everybody else…So let ’em have their debate and let’s see how they do with the ratings.”

On his bad press: “I’m not looking for credit. But what I don’t want is when I raise millions of dollars, have people say, like this sleazy guy right over here from ABC. He’s a sleaze in my book. You’re a sleaze because you know the facts and you know the facts well.”

Trump very plainly tried to avoid making the personal $1 million donation he promised. From David Farenthold a week ago: “In the past few days, The Post has interviewed 22 veterans charities that received donations as a result of Trump’s fundraiser. None of them have reported receiving personal donations from Trump….To whom did Trump give, and in what amounts? ‘He’s not going to share that information,’ Lewandowski said.”

On the media’s lack of suitable gratitude: “Instead of being like, ‘Thank you very much, Mr. Trump,’ or ‘Trump did a good job,’ everyone said: ‘Who got it? Who got it? Who got it?’ And you make me look very bad. I have never received such bad publicity for doing a good job.”

Poor baby. Apparently the press hasn’t yet gotten into the habit of kowtowing to him the way his employees are required to do. Trump still has a lot to learn about running for president.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.