Kolfage, who previously monetized an operation posting conspiracy clickbait on Facebook, and who has run other crowdfunding efforts to fund veteran mentorship that suspiciously never seem to have reached a military hospital, claims We Fund The Wall will buy up land from Texas landowners, and says he can build a wall 2 miles long with the money he already has (assuming most of the GoFundMe donors opt to pass it along to his new enterprise).
The switch broke GoFundMe's donation rules and prompted the refund offer.
In a message on the campaign's page, Kolfage explained his motivation for the fundraiser and laid out the new direction.
"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".
Kolfage, a triple-amputee Air Force veteran, has since created a 501 (c) (4) nonprofit "We Build the Wall, Inc.", and is asking people to send their donation to the new organization instead. He asked donors to redirect their GoFundMe contributions to the new nonprofit.
In the update, Kolfage said the group "is highly confident" that it 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". President Donald Trump is holding off from a threatened national emergency declaration to fund a border wall amid the partial government shutdown. "If for ANY reason we don't reach our goal we will refund your donation.' However, that did not happen".
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But since the project wasn't fully funded and won't go directly to the government, unless those who donated submits a request to GoFundMe, the money will be automatically refunded.
In a statement on January 11, Kolfage explained the choice to create a 501 (c)(4).
Since Kolfage wasn't able to meet his goal of $1 billion in hopes of donating the money to the federal government, GoFundMe spokesperson Bobby Whithone told Buzzfeed "all donors will receive a refund". "We will promptly refund your donation unless you tell us you approve our new plan for action".
Whithorne said all donors will be contacted via email about receiving their refund.
In this November 10, 2014, file photo, former U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Brian Kolfage, center, sits in a wheelchair next to his wife Ashley, right, during the National September 11 Memorial and Museum's "Salute to Service" tribute. However, Kolfage announced he's still determined to build the wall on his own.