More than $20 Million Crowdsourced For Border Wall Will Be Refunded

The GoFundMe campaign for Trump's border wall is refunding donors

A GoFundMe page launched by a disabled Air Force veteran to raise money for President Trump's U.S. -Mexico border wall has raised more than $20 million in less than a month.

GoFundMe spokesman Bobby Whithorne said the refund was initiated because of Kolfage's promise that he would return funds to donors if the campaign couldn't reach $1 billion. That impressive pace continued and before long the fundraiser had racked up more than $20 million in donations, meaning, had it been successful, it would have been one of the biggest GoFundMe campaigns ever.

Brian Kolfage, a triple-amputee Air Force veteran started the campaign on December 16.

But Kolfage also announced on Friday he was suddenly stepping back from donating the money straight to the USA government - a promise it wasn't exactly clear he could complete - and instead funneling the money to a new nonprofit he started called "We Build the Wall, Inc".

The post also names other individuals like Erik Prince, founder of military contracting company Blackwater, former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke and former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach as part of this new campaign.

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It's not clear how this private effort would interact with any federal plans sought by Trump to build a wall with government funds in numerous same areas. "This means all donors will receive a refund", Whithorne told CBS of the GoFundMe.

GoFundMe confirmed because there was a change in how the funds were to be used, all of the money donated to the campaign will be refunded, unless contributors proactively elect to redirect their donation to the new organization.

Kolfage set up a campaign called Fight4FreeSpeech in response to the Facebook ban, which also accepts donations.

Kolfage writes that members of the organization "have provided us with critical guidance on the legal, engineering, contracting, environmental, accounting, maintenance and real estate issues required to build a wall on the southern border". We are better equipped than our own government to use the donated funds to build an actual wall on the southern border. Trump has repeatedly said he will not sign any legislation to reopen the government unless it includes $5.7 billion for construction of a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border, and Democrats have refused to comply with that request.

In the Friday update on the GoFundMe page, the group said it had come to the conclusion that the federal government wouldn't be able to accept their donations anytime soon. The Air Force veteran wrote on the campaign's page, "Eight days before Christmas I started this GoFundMe campaign because I was exhausted of watching the USA government's inability to secure our southern border". I am honoring that commitment today.

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