By now you've probably heard: Trump said he'd given $1 million of his own money to veterans groups, but he actually hadn't. His campaign manager, too, falsely claimed he had given this money.
4 months later, the Washington Post
and other papers started investigating. They contacted Trump and asked what was up. On May 24th, feeling the heat, he broke down and handed over the million bucks.
Other donors had also given money to the Donald J. Trump Foundation on the promise that Trump would then give it to veterans. And he did - after
he was caught. The Associated Press found that many of his checks were dated May 24, after
the Washington Post story came out.
That's bad enough, but the really
interesting part is the temper tantrum that Trump threw at a press conference where he publicly announced that he'd finally given the promised money.
He blasted the media for making him “look bad” by insisting that he account for $6 million. He called them "dishonest" and "not good people", without giving any example of dishonesty. And he personally attacked ABC reporter Tom Llamas.
“I’m not looking for credit,” Trump insisted, contrary to all appearances. “But what I don’t want is when I raise millions of dollars have people say — like this sleazy guy over here from ABC. He’s a sleaze in my book.”
"Why am I a sleaze?" Llamas shot back.
“You’re a sleaze!” Trump shouted. “Because you know the facts and you know the facts well.” Llamas, you see, had just asked a question about this issue. He also had a history of asking Trump tough questions about his anti-immigrant rhetoric.
It's shocking for a US presidential candidate to act this way. This is what a Chicago gangster or tinpot dictator would do.
“Is this what it’s going to be like covering you if you’re president?” one reporter asked.
Trump’s reply: “Yeah, it is. I’m going to continue to attack the press.”
And indeed, Trump has said that if he becomes president, he will "open up" the libel laws to make it easier to sue people who say things he doesn't like. This is exactly
what dictators do.
In 2005, Timothy O'Brien wrote a book TrumpNation: The Art Of Being The Donald
. He raised questions about Trump's claims of vast wealth. Trump promptly sued O'Brien for $5 billion. It was the largest libel lawsuit in U.S. history. Maybe Trump was trying to gain the wealth he didn't actually have. But the lawsuit was dismissed, because of course it's not libel to report that someone is not as rich as they claim.
It's tough to take public criticism. Hillary Clinton knows this well. But Clinton is not thin-skinned like Trump. I don't want a president who throws hissy fits at press conferences, yells at reporters, and threatens writers with lawsuits.
The Washington Post
article about Trump on May 24:https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/05/24/four-months-later-donald-trump-says-he-gave-1-million-to-veterans-group/
A video of Trump's press conference:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJ5kNEL0KzI
On Trump wanting to "open up" libel laws, and suing O'Brien:http://www.npr.org/2016/03/24/471762310/donald-trump-wants-to-open-up-libel-laws-so-he-can-sue-news-outlets