Even supporters of the effort to privately fund Trump's wall are saying it looks like they're being ripped off.
In a development that should surprise no one, the scam artist raising funds to build Trump's wall seems to have done absolutely nothing with the $20 million he's raised so far.
The Daily Beast reports that some people who donated to Brian Kolfage, a shady character with a history of fake news creation, are angry about the lack of progress on the wall. They're flooding the Facebook page of Kolfage's nonprofit, We Build the Wall, with demands that Kolfage tell them exactly what he is doing with their money.
In December 2018, Kolfage raised millions in just a few weeks, thanks in part to signal boosts from people like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). He promised to buy up private land on the border and build part of Trump's wall "for a fraction of what it costs the government."
After the initial flurry of fundraising, however, things got a bit vague. Kolfage's expected start dates for construction seem to shift daily. In January, he said they'd be breaking ground "within weeks." In February 2019, he said his "experts" told him he would be "turning dirt on this thing by May 1, June 1 at the latest." In March, he said they'd be breaking ground in April. Now Kolfage has shifted to saying his portion of the wall is now already under construction.
Theoretically, We Build the Wall was set to build in Arizona — at least that is where they've been scouting private land they could buy. However, the federal government owns most of the border land in Arizona, and private landowners say Kolfage's group hasn't contacted them.
People are right to be suspicious of Kolfage. He ran a number of fake news sites so disreputable they were yanked from Facebook because they turned out to be nothing but an email harvesting operation. And Buzzfeed found that Kolfage had some previous fundraising efforts where somehow none of the money made it to the intended recipients.
Since the Daily Beast story dropped, Kolfage has been on a Twitter tear worthy of Trump. He's bragging that his as-yet-nonexistent wall will have "live cameras." He also explained he has to keep the location of where he is building secret because "liberal attack groups want to attack our construction sites and lock themselves to our equipment." Of course, he's also using the bad publicity as a fundraising opportunity and insisting that he has been able to increase his budget as a result.
The idea that private money could fund a substantial portion of the wall was always an absurd proposition, and it seems that even the wall's supporters are now figuring that out.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.