Richards said he had neither pledged his support to Trump in the primary – as Trump’s campaign had claimed – nor would he be “advocating” for the presidential hopeful.
Veterans for Trump’ group formed after comments on John McCain. Spokeswoman cites ‘written confirmation of support’ from each name listed
Trump’s campaign announced the formation of the New Hampshire-based group in response to criticism of the business mogul’s labeling of McCain, who spent five and a half years in a North Vietnamese jail, where he was tortured, as “not a war hero”.
A number of people were named as members of “Veterans for Trump” on Trump’s election website. “These veterans have pledged their support to Mr Trump in the primary, and they will be advocating for him,” a press release said.
But when the Guardian contacted several claimed Veterans for Trump members on Friday, three said they had never heard of the organisation and had not signed up as members.
“I don’t know anything about it,” said Ernie Fusi, an 88-year-old second world war veteran from Atkinson, New Hampshire.
His name was among 51 “Veterans for Trump” whose details were sent out to the media and listed on Trump’s website.
“I haven’t told anyone I want to get in on that,” Fusi said. “I’m not going to do any campaigning.”
On Saturday, the Trump campaign disputed the accounts of those interviewed by the Guardian.
In an email, a spokeswoman said: “The campaign has written confirmation of support from each of the individuals listed as part of the New Hampshire Veterans Coalition, including those quoted in this story. We are extremely proud to have their support.”
Several people listed as part of the “Veterans for Trump coalition” formed by Donald Trump following his incendiary comments about John McCain’s war record have denied they are part of the group, the Guardian has learned.
The Guardian: Veterans named as Donald Trump supporters say they were not consulted.