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GOP fundraising featuring Donald Trump will go on, despite controversial comments


A Republican Party fundraiser in Michigan featuring Donald Trumpis still scheduled despite his controversial remarks about a former prisoner of war.

The billionaire businessman-turned-presidential candidate angered many when he questioned whether U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is actually a war hero.

McCain was captured by the North Vietnamese and spent five years as a POW. He says Trump owes an apology to POW's

Ratcheting up his attack on McCain, Trump said the Arizona U.S Senator has abandoned the nation's veterans and made America "less safe" through his votes in Congress.

In an opinion piece published Monday in USA Today, Trump also lashed out at his fellowGOP presidential hopefuls who have criticized his remarks, calling them "failed politicians." Trump said he did not need "to be lectured by any of them."

On a contentious appearance on the "Today" Show Monday, Trump took issue with the media's reporting on his comments about McCain's war record, made at a conservative forum in Iowa.

The August 11th event at the Birch Run Expo Center is a joint fundraiser for the Saginaw and Genesee County Republican Parties. 

Michael Moon is the chairman of the Genesee County Republican Party.  He says there are no plans to cancel Trump’s August appearance.

“He’s good.  He’s controversial,” says Moon. “He’s everything you would want in a speaker because people will want to hear him whether they like him or not”

Moon admits Trump was not their first choice for a fundraiser speaker. He says local party officials contacted all the other declared Republican presidential candidates. Scheduling issues prevented most of the other candidates from appearing. Moon says they were close to getting Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, whom Moon is supporting for president and Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, but Trump was the first to confirm.

Recent polls show Trump leading the GOP presidential field.  Many observers credit his personal style for connecting for many Republican voters.

That same style also is off-putting to others.

Moon says they have received some negative reactions from people upset with Trump’s comments. 

“That’s the problem we run into in this country,” says Moon. “We have so many people who are looking for a reason to be offended.”

Moon suggests people who don’t want to hear what Trump will say next month, shouldn't buy a ticket to attend.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
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