Bebeto Matthews / AP
GoFundMe says it reimburses more than $ 20 million in donations by veteran Brian Kolfage to build a wall along the US-Mexico border. The site offered the repayments after Kolfage said the donations would go towards a non-profit creation he created to build the wall, rather than to the US government, which he originally promised.
Kolfage started the campaign on December 16, when President Trump and Congress struck a death over money to the wall that President Trump is seeking.
Kolfage, a triple amputee who was seriously injured during the Iraq war, had said he wanted to raise $ 1 billion through the GoFundMe site. The Air Force's veteran wrote on the campaign page: "Eight days before Christmas, I started this GoFundMe campaign because I was tired of looking at the US government's inability to secure our southern border. Like most Americans, I see the porous southern border as a national security hot and I refuse to let our broken political system leave my family and my country exposed to attack. "
It is unclear whether Kolfage could have given the money to the US government for wall construction, which he had first planned. On Friday, he announced that the donations would be triggered to a nonprofit company called "We Build the Wall, Inc." who has a prominent list of advisors on its advisory board, including businessman Erik Prince and former Kansas State Secretary Kris Kobach.
The change in where the donations would go to violate site rules, according to GoFundMes spokesman Bobby Whithorne, reports The Hill . "When the campaign was created, the campaign organizer specifically mentions the campaign page," If we do not reach our goal or get significantly close, we will repay every penny, "Whithorne said. The Hill ." "100% of your donations will go to Trump Wall. If for some reason we don't reach our goal, we will refund your donation." "
" But it didn't. This means that all donors will receive grants, "Whithorne continued." If a donor does not want a refund and they want their donation to go to the new organization, they must proactively choose to redirect their donation to that organization. If they do not take the step, they will automatically receive a full refund. "
On Friday, Kolfage's campaign page was updated to read:" WE BEGIN THE WAY! You can still donate right now on this Gofundme !! The media incorrectly reports that all money is refunded and it is over. We build the building and you can still donate or choose if you donated before January 11 to support the plan. "
From Saturday, the campaign had been $ 20,328,658 and more than 340,000 people had donated to the GoFundMe site within 26 days.