Morning Joe’s Mistaken Attack On Clinton Over Trump’s Delayed Veterans’ Group Donations

Clinton Family Foundation Donated Nearly Twice As Much To Veterans As Trump Before His Fundraiser

Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough lashed out at Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton after she criticized presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for delaying promised donations to veterans’ groups following a January fundraiser. Scarborough said Clinton should raise money for veterans herself before attacking Trump, but in fact a CNN investigation found that the Clinton Family Foundation had donated nearly twice as much as Trump to veteran’s groups before Trump’s fundraiser. Additionally, as a senator, Clinton helped raise funds for a veteran rehabilitation center and pushed legislation to improve veterans’ health care and benefits.

Clinton Criticizes Trump For Delaying Contributions To Veterans’ Groups

Associated Press: Many Of Trump’s Donations To Veterans’ Groups Came Only After Media Pressure. The Associated Press reported that many of the veterans’ groups presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump claimed he had donated to following a January fundraiser were only sent checks “last week.” This followed reporting by The Washington Post that “for weeks … rais[ed] questions about where the promised money was” and “urg[ed] him to disclose recipients of the millions raised” from that fundraiser. From the May 31 report:

More than a dozen big checks flowed out of New York last week, bound for veterans' charities from Donald Trump. On Tuesday, he announced he had made good on his promise of last January to give the groups millions of dollars from a highly publicized fundraiser.

The announcement by the presumptive Republican presidential candidate came in the midst of a 40-minute rant against “dishonest” and “sleazy” reporters who have been pressing the issue.

The largest donation, a $1 million check dated May 24 and drawn from Donald J. Trump's personal account, was addressed to a small Tuckahoe, New York, group that provides scholarships to the children of fallen Marines.

Trump had been interviewed that same day by The Washington Post, which for weeks had been raising questions about where the promised money was, urging him to disclose recipients of the millions raised during a splashy telethon-style fundraiser he held in Iowa in January in place of a Fox debate he was boycotting.


The Associated Press spoke or left messages with each of the organizations Trump named. Of the 30 groups that responded by Tuesday, about half said they had received checks from Trump just last week.

Several said the checks were dated on or about May 24 — the date as Trump's interview with the Post — and shipped out overnight. [Associated Press, 5/31/16]

Clinton: Trump Had To Be “Shame[d]” By Media To Make Contributions. Hillary Clinton told CNN’s Jake Tapper in a May 31 interview that while she was “glad” Trump had donated to veterans’ groups, she did not think “that he should get much credit” because  “It took a reporter to shame him into actually making his contribution.” From a May 31 CNN article:

Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that Donald Trump does not deserve “much credit” for his donations to veterans groups, saying that the presumptive GOP nominee only did so because a reporter had to “shame” him into doing it.

“Look, I'm glad he finally did it, but I don't know that he should get much credit,” she told CNN's Jake Tapper on “The Lead.” “I think the problem here is the difference between what Donald Trump says and what Donald Trump does.”

She added, “It took a reporter to shame him into actually making his contribution,” though she didn't specify a particular reporter by name.

Trump earlier on Tuesday unveiled $5.6 million in donations that he gave to veterans groups after months of pressure from news organizations. Pushing back harshly on that media criticism, Trump argued that the Democratic front-runner had given “nothing” to veterans charities. [CNN, 5/31/16]

Morning Joe Lashes Out At Clinton For Trump Criticism

MSNBC’s Scarborough: Clinton “Can Raise Six And A Half Million And Then She Can Attack Trump. MSNBC host Joe Scarborough criticized Clinton for her remarks, saying “Hillary can raise six and half million dollars for vets and then she can attack him.” Co-host Mika Brzezinski agreed, saying Clinton could “raise money for … the Clinton Global Initiative as secretary of state around the world.” From the June 1 edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe:

MIKA BRZEZINSKI (CO-HOST): I know there are some groups that would not take his money.

JOE SCARBOROUGH (CO-HOST): And also, yeah, IA --


SCARBOROUGH: IAVA refused to take his money. And there are other groups that wouldn't take his money, so I don't know. I do understand it took him a while to get there. Maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle. I don’t think – I know Hillary Clinton attacked him. Hillary can raise six and a half million dollars for vets and then she can attack him.

BRZEZINSKI: And she can raise money for CG, the Clinton Global Initiative, as secretary of state around the world. [MSNBC, Morning Joe6/1/16]

CNN Reports Clinton Donated More To Veterans’ Groups Than Trump Did Before Fundraiser

CNN’s Camerota: Clinton Donated “Almost Twice As Much” As Trump To Veterans’ Groups Over Comparable Periods Of Time. CNN host Alisyn Camerota reported that CNN looked into how much Clinton had donated to veterans’ groups and found that from 2006 through 2011 the Clinton Family Foundation donated $105,000 --  “almost twice as much” -- to veterans’ groups as Trump had during a comparable four-year span, prior to his May 24 donation. From the June 1 edition of CNN’s New Day:

ALISYN CAMEROTA (CO-HOST): During that press conference, Donald Trump challenged the press to scrutinize Hillary Clinton's donations to vets. And we thought that that actually was a valuable exercise. So here at CNN we looked into that, at New Day we did. Here is what we came up with. From the years 2006 through 2011, here are the donations we found, and these were made from the Clinton Family Foundation, OK? So these are her donations to vets. They total $105,000. During a four-year span, before yesterday's big donation that Donald Trump made of $5.6 million, according to Forbes magazine, Donald Trump had contributed $57,000, OK? So Hillary Clinton almost twice as much. And yet, again, she is eclipsed because he’s setting the agenda, he's making the splashy press conference, he has this big total now that he can trumpet, pardon the pun, and so her donations, she didn't talk about them. They get a little lost. [CNN, New Day6/1/16]

Clinton Has A Long Record Working On Behalf Of Veterans From Her Time In The Senate

Clinton Worked With Republican Sen. McCain To Build Veteran Rehabilitation Center. Clinton worked with Republican Senator John McCain to raise funds for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, “which led to building the Center for the Intrepid, a $50 million state-of-the-art physical rehabilitation facility in San Antonio, Texas, designed specifically to help seriously wounded service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan,” according to a May 31 DailyKos post. [, 5/31/16;, 5/3/07]

Clinton Introduced Legislation To Help Families Care For Veterans. Clinton introduced the 2006 Heroes at Home Act to establish services to help families care for military members and veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries. Clinton sponsored an amendment to the 2007 Defense Appropriations Act to “establish a traumatic brain injury family caregiver training curriculum for DOD and VA hospitals, and she championed efforts to make it easier for military family members to provide care for their loved ones,” according to the DailyKos post. [, 5/31/16, 2005, 2006]

Clinton Expanded Veterans’ Access To Health Care Coverage. Clinton worked with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham to add language to a 2005 defense bill expanding veterans’ access to military health insurance and “ensuring that all members of the Reserves and National Guard—and their families—had access to military health benefits even when they were not deployed.” [, 5/31/16]

Clinton Worked To Broaden Family And Medical Leave To Families Of Wounded Veterans. Clinton “collaborated with Senator Chris Dodd to author and introduce new legislation that aimed to broaden protections afforded by the Family and Medical Leave Act to the family of wounded service members. The legislation was enacted as part of the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act.” [, 5/31/16]

Clinton Introduced Legislation To Expand Benefits For Families Of Fallen Veterans. Clinton worked with Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison to introduce legislation to “expand benefits afforded to surviving spouses. She joined with Republican Senator Chuck Hagel to introduce a bill to increase the gratuity paid to family members of fallen veterans from $12,000 to $100,000, a proposal that was enacted as part of the 2005 supplemental appropriations act.” [, 5/31/16]