Veterans who have passed on being the GOP frontrunner’s props have found themselves targeted by his legion of trolls.
Veterans groups who stood up to Donald Trump’s pandering to their ranks are now routinely bombarded with nasty messages from the mogul’s supporters, who want to punish them for daring to challenge their leader.
Paul Rieckhoff, the CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, learned this firsthand when he stood up to the Republican presidential frontrunner in late January, saying he would decline any donations from Trump’s charitable foundation if offered.
“We’ve gotten a flood of nasty attacks… many scary and threatening emails, [the] worst social media trolling I’ve ever seen,” Rieckhoff told The Daily Beast. “Showing what happens when you simply say no. This is the climate he’s created with his followers.”
Rieckhoff had plenty of reasons to pre-emptively reject the donation. Trump has repeatedly insulted veterans, but on the campaign trail has tried to use them for political gain. After a squabble with Fox News over the use of Megyn Kelly as a debate moderator, Trump held a competing event, ostensibly to raise money for veterans groups.
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