I shouldn’t be laughing about this, but I will.
*Deep, rolling belly laughs*
So earlier Friday we discussed Brian Kolfage, the triple amputee Iraq vet, but otherwise disreputable “fake news” pimp and all-around grifter.
Kolfage is the mind behind scam sites, Freedom Daily and Right Wing News. Their Facebook pages promote sensational click-bait tales, complete with photoshopped images of all the favorite bogeymen of the right, such as Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and former FBI Director James Comey.
In the earlier piece, I also noted that Kolfage has had his name attached to three different crowdfunding campaigns, including one that raised over $16,000 that was allegedly to fund peer mentoring programs for Walter Reed, Brooke Army Medical Center, and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, in Germany, where he was treated.
The campaign closed in February 2015, with all funds going to Kolfage. Meanwhile, there are no peer mentorship programs with either of those medical centers and none of them have received any money from Kolfage.
He also has an active campaign with GoFundMe to raise money for what he says will fund his fight against Facebook, for “free speech.”
That campaign has over $73,000 in it, to date.
The fund to raise money to build the southern border wall, however, has probably been his most profitable grift campaign. Since December, over 330,000 people have donated over $20 million, towards a stated $1 billion goal.
Kolfage has used his status as the head of his fake news sites and his blue check verification mark on Twitter as the chip to secure those donations.
He knew people in the Trump administration! He was going to get that money to the administration and start the building of the wall!
Are you familiar with that saying about fools and their money?
After I posted my earlier story, true Trumpian believers puffed up and announced that Kolfage had alluded to a “major announcement” to be coming later Friday, about the progress towards that wall.
Ok. Great. Let’s hear it.
My guess was he’d be announcing that he was off to Tahiti for an extended vacay.
His big announcement was that he’d decided that maybe the government SHOULDN’T get that $20 million.
Color me surprised.
In fact, he, Kolfage, had a better idea.
While Kolfage said money donated to the original campaign would go to the government to fund a border wall, he wrote Friday that he has since formed a nonprofit corporation in Florida named “We Build the Wall, Inc.” to receive the GoFundMe contributions.
Don’t miss that, my gullible, red capped buffoons.
HE formed a nonprofit, and HE will decide what to do with those funds.
“We are better equipped than our own government to use the donated funds to build an actual wall on the southern border,” Kolfage wrote. “Our highly experienced team is highly confident that we can complete significant segments of the wall in less times, and for far less money, that the federal government, while meeting or exceeding all required regulatory, engineering, and environmental specifications.”
Who wants to bet the “we” is him and his banker?
So how is he going to grab that land to build the wall, independently? Are those ranchers and farmers just going to allow him to move in? How does that work?
The page now states that the funds raised will be used “in the execution of our mission and purpose” for his new created non-profit.
“To honor the commitment, we made to our donors; all funds raised, less the processing fees and refunds, will be transferred to a special purpose account to carry out the purposes and mission of We Build the Wall, Inc.,” Kolfage wrote. “I will personally not take a penny of compensation from these donations.”
Of course not, except that his name is on the account and it, much like the grift campaign to raise funds for peer mentoring, every dollar is slated to go to him.
My first inclination is to say he deserves every dime. I hope some of the gullible rubes who bought his act gave at a sacrifice, with absolutely no chance of seeing any return on their investment.
However, GoFundMe has stepped in and ended this farce.
Apparently, you’re not allowed to start a GoFundMe account for one purpose, then change it to a new purpose, midstream, at least, not on this level, so the rubes will be getting a refund.
“When the campaign was created, the campaign organizer specifically stated on the campaign page, ‘If we don’t reach our goal or come significantly close we will refund every single penny,’” GoFundMe spokesperson Bobby Whithorne told The Hill on Friday.
“He also stated on the campaign page, ‘100% of your donations will go to the Trump Wall. If for ANY reason we don’t reach our goal we will refund your donation.’”
“However, that did not happen. This means all donors will receive a refund,” Whithorne continued. “If a donor does not want a refund, and they want their donation to go to the new organization, they must proactively elect to redirect their donation to that organization. If they do not take that step, they will automatically receive a full refund.”
So if you want to continue to play the patsy, they’ll let you waste your money. I would advise you to take the refund and be a bit more judicious with your funds, next time.
And don’t you just know, some will play the noble wall warriors and trust that some random con artist from the internet can actually do what he claims.
This is where I say, “I told you so.”