An Iraq war veteran cancelled his plan to crowdsource $1 billion to help President Donald Trump build a wall on the Mexico border Friday after raising only $20 million and drawing questions about his online activities.
Brian Kolfage, 37, who lives with his family in the Miramar Beach resort community of Sandestin, in the Panhandle's Walton County, created the We the People Will Build the Wall GoFundMe page with the aim to raise $1 billion in mid-December. Kolfage said in an update to the GoFundMe campaign page that he's formed a non-profit corporation named "We Build the Wall, Inc". We are better equipped than our own government to use the donated funds to build an actual wall on the southern border. You will receive your refund a few weeks after the 90 days expires and GoFundMe will notify you once your refund has processed. 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.
GoFundMe Director of North America Communications Bobby Whithorne said in a statement that all donors will automatically receive a refund unless they decide to send the money to Kolfage's nonprofit, which is classified by the IRS as a "social welfare organization".
People walk on the Mexican side of the U.S. -Mexico border barrier on January 10.
A partial government shutdown over the border wall between President Trump and Congressional Democrats is now tied for the longest in USA history. Democrats, headed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, remain steadfast in opposition to Trump's wall.
Trade war: China says U.S. talks 'laid ground' to resolve dispute
The United States says talks in Beijing on ending a bruising trade war focused on Chinese promises to buy more American goods. President Donald Trump earlier expressed optimism in a tweet , exclaiming "Talks with China are going very well! ".
The Department of Homeland Security and the Trump administration did not respond to requests for comment Friday evening on the possibility of a privately funded effort to build the wall, according to the New York Times.
The U.S. government shutdown has now lasted 21 days, tying for the longest shutdown in U.S. history. It quickly went viral and has amassed more than 338,000 donors.
In addition, Kolfage was put on the defensive late Thursday by a BuzzFeed News article that raised questions about his use of funds from a previous GoFundMe campaign, and alleged he ran an operation to fabricate fake news against liberal groups and politicians in order to generate traffic and profits from advertising.
In addition, some 800,000 federal employees have been on furlough or are being forced to continue working without pay, costing the USA economy an estimated several billion dollars, Sputnik previously reported. "With the help of our highly experienced team, and your support, we will make this work!"