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Unread 2019-01-11, 16:22   #1
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aarkieboy
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"Brian Kolfage, the decorated Iraq War veteran spearheading the massive, viral fundraising campaign to build President Trump’s border wall, who has a history of peddling right-wing misinformation on Facebook, pushed the limits of misleading content in pursuit of online traffic and profits until he was ultimately banned from the platform, according to multiple former employees and a review of internal communications.

The 37-year-old has spent more than a decade carefully crafting his public persona as an altruistic, conservative public figure, but people who have worked with the veteran told BuzzFeed News he can be vengeful and malicious, and that the pursuit of profits above all else fueled his behavior.

The veteran has also spearheaded other crowdfunding ventures over the years, raising thousands of dollars on GoFundMe with the promise of helping mentor fellow vets at military hospitals, but spokespersons for the medical centers said they have no record of Kolfage working at their facilities or donating any money.

Lindsay Lowery, who goes by the alias Prissy Holly, worked for Kolfage’s main conservative news website, Freedom Daily, for about a year in 2017 as Trump’s presidency began to take shape and the world of fake news on Facebook remained largely unabated.

The veteran has tapped crowdfunding and his social media following to help raise money for a variety of issues and causes over the years, including his own legal fees against what he characterized as “radical left-wing extremists” who slandered him, according to 2014 court documents.

A year later, he used GoFundMe to collect $16,246 for a veteran mentorship program. The campaign closed in February 2015, and the funds went directly to Kolfage, Bobby Whithorne, a GoFundMe spokesperson, confirmed to BuzzFeed News.

In now-deleted Facebook posts, Kolfage appealed to followers to donate to “get vets back on track” and said his program worked in conjunction with military hospitals, such as Walter Reed, Brooke Army Medical Center, and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, which treated Kolfage in 2004 after the horrific explosion at Balad Air Base in Iraq that left him injured.

But representatives for all three medical centers told BuzzFeed News that they have no record of any peer-mentoring programs or Kolfage working with patients at their centers.

“We do not have a record of Mr. Kolfage visiting Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in any official capacity after 2012,” Gia E. Oney, chief of public affairs for Landstuhl, told BuzzFeed News. “We have no record of a donation made in his name to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.” (More)
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Unread 2019-01-11, 17:19   #2
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