Trump vows to 'stand by' military families days after admitting misuse of charity for vets


Trump also hailed 'Gold Star' families despite his repeated attacks on them.

Trump praised veterans and Gold Star military families during an event in New York on Monday, just days after a court ordered him to pay $2 million for misusing charitable funds intended for veterans for personal and political gain.

"To every Gold Star family, we will stand by your side forever," Trump told attendees at New York City's Veterans' Day Parade.

Later in the speech, Trump praised the military as "the greatest warriors to ever walk the face of the earth," adding, "Our veterans risk everything for us. Now it is our duty to serve and protect them every single day of our lives."

"You are the reason our hearts swell with pride, our foes tremble with fear, and our nation thrives in freedom," he said.

Monday afternoon, the White House issued a statement of commitment to veterans, saying Trump was "working tirelessly" to protect resources and aid for "American heroes."

Trump was sued last year by New York's attorney general, who alleged that Trump and his family had misused millions of dollars in charity donations for personal gain, including purchasing a portrait of himself and paying off debt.

The two sides reached a settlement last month, which was announced on Thursday last week.

In documents from the settlement, Trump admitted that his now-defunct charitable organization, the Trump Foundation, had handed over control to his political campaign to manage and disburse $2.8 million in donations from a 2016 fundraiser for military veterans.

As the New York Times noted, Trump "also admitted to using the foundation to settle the legal obligations of companies he owned, including Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Florida, and the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, N.Y."

"Mr. Trump’s fiduciary duty breaches included allowing his campaign to orchestrate the fundraiser, allowing his campaign, instead of the Foundation, to direct distribution of the funds, and using the fundraiser and distribution of the funds to further Mr. Trump’s political campaign," New York State Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla wrote last week, announcing the settlement.

Scarpulla ordered Trump to pay $2 million for his misuse of the military. The money will go to various charities.

In addition to misusing funds meant for veterans, Trump has also attacked the very kinds of Gold Star families he praised during Monday's Veteran's Day event.

During the 2016 campaign, Trump attacked the family of Captain Humayun Khan, a Muslim soldier who died fighting for the U.S. Army in Iraq.

After Khan's parents, Khizr and Ghazala Khan, spoke and appeared at the Democratic convention, Trump went after them, claiming that Ghazala Khan was not allowed to speak at the event because of her Muslim faith.

Trump also said Khizr Khan was wrong to say Trump had not sacrificed for the country because he employed "thousands and thousands of people."

Trump attacked yet another Gold Star family in October 2017, after taking office.

Army Sgt. La David Johnson was killed in an ISIS-led ambush in Niger along with three other Special Forces troops.

During a telephone conversation with Johnson's widow, Myeshia Johnson, Trump told the grieving woman that her husband "knew what he signed up for."

When the family went public about those remarks, Trump slammed Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL), a friend of the family who helped to publicize the slight. Trump referred to the congresswoman as "wacky" and his then-chief of staff John Kelly lied about remarks Wilson had made in the past.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.