Brian Kolfage, an Air Force veteran from Florida, said he felt “deeply invested” in seeing the proposed wall come to fruition. The wall, which Trump has repeatedly promised, is still unstarted as Washington braces for a government shutdown over the president’s demand for taxpayer funding.
“If we can fund a large portion of this wall, it will jumpstart things and will be less money Trump has to secure from our politicians,” Kolfage wrote on the GoFundMe page for the wall campaign.
More than 180,000 people have donated a staggering $11 million through Friday morning. Kolfage is still eons away from his $1 billion goal, and it’s unclear what will happen to the money. As USA Today noted, private citizens need congressional approval before they can donate money to the Department of Homeland Security.
Kolfage didn’t immediately answer HuffPost’s request for comment.
Unlike other fundraising websites, GoFundMe doesn’t automatically return donations if a goal isn’t reached. Plus, $1 billion is still only 20 percent of the funding Trump has requested from Congress for his wall. Kolfage claimed he’s working with someone in the White House to secure the funding, but declined to say who.
Further complicating the bizarre saga is Kolfage himself. A statement on the GoFundMe page insists that it’s not a scam because ”[p]eople who try to scam you will not be upfront with their information.”
However, Kolfage failed to disclose that he once ran a series of Facebook pages that were shut down in a crackdown on spam. According to NBC News, the Facebook pages sent users to affiliate websites, using conspiracy theories and racist content to drive traffic.
Kolfage told The Guardian at the time that the Facebook crackdown was “a complete shock.” He then created a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for a legal effort to revive the pages.
“Facebook shut down my primary source of income by deleting my pages,” he wrote, claiming that he was working with a “major law firm.”
Kolfage told NBC News he didn’t disclose the Facebook controversy on the wall website because “my personal issues have nothing to do with building the wall.”