“We the People Will Build The Wall,” a GoFundMe campaign founded by veteran Brian Kolfage, announced a pivot last week. After raising more than $20 million from more than 300,000 donors, Kolfage acknowledged that the government “won’t be able to accept our donations anytime soon,” so he was forming a new organization, per the Inquisitr.
The new organization, whose board of directors includes such controversial conservative figures as Sheriff David Clarke, former Blackwater chairman Erik Prince, and former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, is called “We Build the Wall, Inc.,” and is dedicated to constructing parts of the border wall in small increments.
The plan, though, is now being questioned from an unlikely quarter – the conservative website the Daily Caller.
According to an investigative story on that site, Kolfage is “refusing to answer basic questions” about the new nonprofit, which the site revealed was actually created two weeks before it was announced. The Caller was also unable to verify that the organization to which Kolfage has been directing checks actually exists.
Donors must agree to redirect their funds to the new organization by April, or else they will be refunded, per GoFundMe.
“Kolfage has ignored multiple inquiries from [The Daily Caller News Foundation] asking why he’s directing check donations to a separate organization based in a different state, and whether donations sent to We Fund the Wall, Inc. can be used to compensate him in any way shape or form,” reporter Andrew Kerr said.
The story also included a skeptical quote from Daniel Borochoff, of an organization called Charity Watch.
“People should give right to the organization that they want to support. Why are they directing money to some other entity?” Borochoff told the site. “This money could get stolen or misdirected to be used for another purpose… There could be some kind of misdirection of funds or something going on there that people might not be happy about. They really need a good reason for doing that.”
The report comes as questions have been raised about Kolfage’s background and history. The founder of the funding effort enjoyed an extensive career as a “fake news” entrepreneur, running Facebook pages that pushed dubious news, NBC News reported last week. The report also revealed that Kolfage has often engaged in email-harvesting schemes, which he may have continued doing through the wall GoFundMe campaign.
While the campaign raised an extraordinary amount of money for a crowdfunding effort, it remained far short of its stated goal of $1 billion.