The executive director of New Hampshire-based Liberty House, a homeless veterans organization that was slated to receive money from Trump’s campaign, told The Daily Beast that his organization opposed the use of veterans as political tokens. From the Beast’s Tim Mak:
On Friday, Liberty House executive director Keith Howard received a call from a Trump campaign staffer, who conveyed that Trump would like to publicly present them with a six-figure check at a Londonderry rally on Monday, right before the Granite State primary.
It’s an enormous amount of money for a small charity. But Howard said he wouldn’t do it—risking the entire, substantial donation on a point of principle.
Howard said that while he doesn’t oppose accepting money from political campaigns that want to give it, he wouldn’t appear publicly with any campaign, feared that appearing at a candidate’s side could even threaten the status of a non-profit.
“We’re very thankful that the Trump Foundation is donating money, but we’re not going to change what we do in any way for a paycheck,” he told the Beast.
Liberty House isn’t the only veterans organization that refuses to be a prop for the Trump campaign. Last month, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, representing over 150,000 veterans, announced that it would refuse donations from the Trump campaign, with its CEO saying that they “need strong policies from candidates, not to be used for political stunts.”
It’s not the first time Trump has tried to pander to veterans for support, with his most recent episode being a rally meant to benefit veterans during the presidential debate he skipped. That being said, Trump’s definition of “veteran” is often wishy-washy, and his respect for veterans—even those who were prisoners of war—is dubious.