The crowdfunding campaign launched by U.S. veteran Brian Kolfage in order to fund President Trump’s proposed border wall has now raised over $18.5 million, from over 300,000 donors. The amount was pledged in the campaign’s first 16 days, as the government shutdown in which the primary issue is border security funding continues.
While $18.5 million is undoubtedly an impressive sum for a crowdfunding effort, it remains well short of the $1 billion goal stated for the fundraiser, which is itself only a small fraction of the amount of money that a wall would cost, as President Trump is currently seeking $5 billion in the negotiations with Congress. Furthermore, questions have been raised as to whether a crowdfunded gift of that size can legally be presented to the government with a specific purpose stated.
The campaign now includes a link to a seperate website, WeFundTheWall.com, promising that “we are releasing a full plan next week,” presumably for the logistics of how the money raised will go towards building the wall. It’s also stated that 100 million signatures are needed; the site currently lists over 3.5 million signatures. Kolfage, for his part, has embarked on a media blitz to sell the plan, including a new video for the conservative website the Daily Caller.
The GoFundMe campaign, which is titled “We the People Will Fund the Wall” and sometimes referred to as “GoFundTheWall,” was launched in mid-December by Kolfage, a triple-amputee veteran who is also an accomplished fake-news entrepreneur, as reported in December by NBC News. Ironically, a bogus news site called ConservativeTears.com reported falsely in late December that Kolfage had been found dead under mysterious circumstances.
Meanwhile, there have been several parody versions of the Wall GoFundMe, including one to build a large escalator over the wall, another to build ladders for climbing it, and another to simply “not build a wall.”
In Washington, the government shutdown continues, and will probably last into the arrival of the new Congress, which will be sworn in later this week. On Tuesday, per Business Insider, President Trump tweeted at incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, asking her to commit $5 billion to fund the wall and end the shutdown. The Democrats plan to introduce a bill to end the shutdown, but without the funding for the wall.
The new C0ngress is set to convene on Thursday. There’s no indication that the possible influx of funding from Kolfage’s GoFundMe has factored in any way in the negotations over the actual funding of the Wall.