GoFundMe said it would refund $20 million raised by over 300,000 donors for President Trump’s border wall after an account aiming to raise $1 billion for the wall fell short of its goal.
Brian Kolfage, a triple-amputee Air Force veteran, originally pledged that “every single penny” would be refunded if the original goal was not met.
“However, that did not happen. This means all donors will receive a refund,” said Bobby Whithorne, director of North America Communications for GoFundMe, in a email to CBS News.
In an update to donors Friday, Kolfage did not say missing the goal was the main reason for the refund.
Instead, the veteran pointed to government inefficiencies and the fact that the federal government “won’t be able to accept our donations anytime soon.”
While he initially claimed that money donated to the original campaign would go to the government to fund a border wall, he wrote Friday that he has since formed a nonprofit corporation in Florida named “We Build the Wall, Inc.” to receive the GoFundMe contributions.
“We are better equipped than our own government to use the donated funds to build an actual wall on the southern border,” Kolfage wrote. “Our highly experienced team is highly confident that we can complete significant segments of the wall in less times, and for far less money, that the federal government, while meeting or exceeding all required regulatory, engineering, and environmental specifications.”
“If a donor does not want a refund, and they want their donation to go to the new organization, they must proactively elect to redirect their donation to that organization,” Whithorne said. “If they do not take that step, they will automatically receive a full refund.”