The ultra-left Guardian is stirring up trouble for Donald Trump. The newspaper contacted several U.S. veterans listed as members of “Veterans for Trump” on the candidate’s website and discovered at least three had no clue they were supposed to be supporting him.
A number of people were named as members of “Veterans for Trump” on Trump’s election website. “These veterans have pledged their support to Mr Trump in the primary, and they will be advocating for him,” a press release said.
But when the Guardian contacted several claimed Veterans for Trump members on Friday, three said they had never heard of the organisation and had not signed up as members.
“I don’t know anything about it,” said Ernie Fusi, an 88-year-old second world war veteran from Atkinson, New Hampshire. His name was among 51 “Veterans for Trump” whose details were sent out to the media and listed on Trump’s website.
“I haven’t told anyone I want to get in on that,” Fusi said. “I’m not going to do any campaigning.”
On Saturday, the Trump campaign disputed the accounts of those interviewed by the Guardian.
In an email, a spokeswoman said: “The campaign has written confirmation of support from each of the individuals listed as part of the New Hampshire Veterans Coalition, including those quoted in this story. We are extremely proud to have their support.”
Donald Richards, a veteran based in Laconia, New Hampshire, was also named on the list of Veterans for Trump members along with his wife, Connie Richards. He said neither had signed up for the group.
“I’m not a member of the campaign, no,” he said. “I have no connection any more than anybody else does to him.”
Richards said he had neither pledged his support to Trump in the primary – as Trump’s campaign had claimed – nor would he be “advocating” for the presidential hopeful.
“I’m not walking around with a sign saying ‘I’m voting for Trump’,” he said. “I’m not doing that. I’m just a regular citizen who hasn’t made up his mind yet who I’m voting for.”
So, what gives? This kind of thing actually happens more than you might suspect. People will sign all sorts of things and then forget that they had done so. This is especially true of activists, who have their fingers in a lot of different pies.
But in Trump’s case, it is right to question not only the makeup of the veterans organization, but the campaign’s denial that there are any ghost members.
The Trump campaign used a consulting company to hire dozens of actors to cheer at Trump’s announcement speech. There’s nothing wrong with this, except the campaign denied they did so. The Hollywood Reporter then released the email sent to casting agents proving the Trump campaign a liar.
So we shouldn’t put it past the campaign to pad the list of Veterans for Trump with people who didn’t know their names were being used. Was this a small transgression against authenticity?
Or a disturbing pattern emerging regarding the candidate’s cavalier attitude toward the truth?