My friend Valerie posted this on Facebook last night …
“We just got a phone call wanting us to buy a brick in Trumps wall. No, not happening.”
Say WHAT??? Surely just some new phone scam, right? Well, yes and no. Turns out that there are a couple of different ‘things’ going around, but at least one is actually a project of Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign! Yes, folks, but the bricks aren’t real, and they don’t go to build the wall! They are fake bricks that you can purchase for only $20.20 each and have them sent to either Senator Chuck Schumer or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Campaign manager Brad Parscale issued a statement:
“The Democrats have been stonewalling President Trump for too long, as the President remains fully committed to make a deal to secure our border. Now the American people can send a message directly to Chuck and Nancy on a faux red brick that tells them to build the wall. Because they clearly don’t understand the facts about the critical need for a wall and border security, our bricks will teach them the truth about the crime, drugs, and human trafficking that result from open borders.”
A fake brick. For only $20.20. Enough to feed a family of four for a day or two, at least. Instead, some fools will throw away their money on this foolish little game. By the way … the market price of an actual brick is around $1.96 per square foot.
The campaign also set up a website called Build the Border Wall, where respondents can donate their money and choose if they want their brick to be sent to Pelosi or Schumer. They can send up to seven bricks to each with one donation.
There is also a robocall going about that may or may not be associated with the Trump campaign, where they are asking for $35. The voicemail says …
“To secure the border and stop criminal gangs, drug smugglers and human traffickers, it’s a tremendous problem. President Trump wants to send bricks to Chuck and Nancy for every donation of at least $35 right now. That’s why we need your help, now more than ever to get these bricks sent, so Chuck, Nancy and the Democrats know you’re serious about helping President Trump secure the border and fund the wall. So please press 1 now to support President Trump by donating and getting your brick sent to Chuck and Nancy. Again press 1 to donate, that’s on your keypad to donate now, press 9 to unsubscribe.”
I came across these stories in several media venues, including The Hill and Newsweek. I liked what one Newsweek reader, Philip Bergeron, suggested:
Meanwhile … remember a while back when I reported that a GoFundMe account had been set up by a man named Brian Kolfage for the purpose of financing Trump’s border wall? Kolfage was asking that every American contribute $80. Well, as of January 9th, it was reported by MarketWatch that the account had raised $19.7 million. Now, that’s quite a bit shy of the $5.7 billion that Trump is demanding only to make a start on his blasted wall, but it is still an astounding figure! I am stunned and appalled that more than 346,000 people had no better sense than to donate an average of $56.94 to a wall that is not needed, is not wanted, and is one of the biggest hoaxes of modern times!!! Fools!!! I can actually feed my family for a week on $56.94 if I try!
However … two days later, on January 11th, GoFundMe announced that they would refund all donations after Kolfage made a strange change to the wording of the account. Whereas in the beginning, he claimed that ‘every single penny’ would go directly toward building the wall, he later added the following verbage …
WE EXPANDED OUR MISSION! We are no longer just funding the wall, we are now BUILDING the wall.
Eight days before Christmas I started this GoFundMe campaign because I was tired of watching the U.S. government’s inability to secure our southern border. Like most Americans, I see the porous southern border as a national security threat and I refuse to allow our broken political system to leave my family and my country vulnerable to attack.
The plan of action was simple and straightforward to raise money to construct a wall on our southern border. We have raised over $20 Million from 325,000 plus donors and we are only just getting started! I have been literally overwhelmed and inspired by the outpouring of support, calls, and emails from American citizens who support our efforts to Build the Wall. I got some hate as well but that was easy to ignore with all the positive feedback I was getting. I immediately sought out and consulted with some of our country’s leading professionals in law, politics, national security, construction, and finance. This team has spent countless hours over the holidays reviewing all issues pertaining to the construction of a southern border wall. Unanimously, we have all come to the conclusion that:
The federal government won’t be able to accept our donations anytime soon.
We are better equipped than our own government to use the donated funds to build an actual wall on the southern border.
Our highly experienced team is highly confident that we can complete significant segments of the wall in less time, and for far less money, than the federal government, while meeting or exceeding all required regulatory, engineering, and environmental specifications.
Our team strongly believes that we can complete our segments of the wall for less than half of the government’s estimated costs on a per mile basis.
It was also discovered that Kolfage has a history of running sites that promoted conspiracy theories and racist content. A BuzzFeed News investigation published Thursday found that Kolfage allegedly pocketed money donated to a previous GoFundMe account he started for wounded veterans. Nice guy, huh? Fits right in with the rest of the Trumpeters. Although GoFundMe is refunding the money of all who donated prior to January 11th, the campaign is still open and people are still donating, for I saw no less than ten donations that had come in within the two hours before I visited the site.
I would be willing to bet that many, if not all of the people donating to any of these schemes are in the bottom half of the income scale and can ill afford the money they have thrown away. Surely it is only the under-educated and uninformed that would be so foolish? Sigh.