In early August, a CNN reporter tweeted an email he purportedly received from a donor to Republican Party nominee Donald Trump’s presidential campaign alleging that there was no way that a donor could cancel a recurring contribution. That got the attention of several establishment press outlets and the left-biased “fact checkers” who thought they smelled smoke, but ultimately found no fire.
Several days ago, the New York Observer followed up on a documented complaint by a Minnesota woman first reported at a local TV station in early June. Claiming communications with “multiple sources,” reporter Liz Corkin asserted that the Clinton campaign is “purposefully and repeatedly overcharging” small-dollar contributors “after they make what’s supposed to be a one-time small donation through her official campaign website.” Establishment press interest this time? None — except to have one of the so-called “fact checkers” dismiss Corkin’s contentions as “unproven.”
When the Trump allegation surfaced, coverage appeared at Slate.com (headlining it as a “scam alert”), New York Magazine (an item which got a listing at news and blog aggregator Memeorandum), Vanity Fair (which claimed there’s “NO WAY” to cancel a recurring Trump donation), the Daily Beast (“doesn’t let you cancel”), and more lefty blogs than can be listed here.
CNNMoney.com couldn’t contain its glee: “Last evening, the internet chuckled in schadenfreude delight when news came to light that a recurring donation to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on his website could not be canceled.”
Snopes, which has become so blatant in it leftist shilling that it should be seen as a biased “fact checker” as pathetic as the incorrigible Politifact, looked into the claim about the Trump campaign, and concluded that its truth was “mixed”:
While it appears to be atypically difficult to cancel a recurring donation to the Trump campaign, it is certainly not impossible, as individuals who create an account can do so via the web interface. Overall, it seemed the problem related more to the interface of a third-party vendor (Revv) to whom the Trump campaign had outsourced donations and not to the campaign itself.
After the dust settled, the worst that could be said is that the Trump campaign made cancelling a recurring contribution more difficult than it should be. But it could be done. Snopes “mixed” evaluation was, consistent with its track record in politically-related matters, fundamentally dishonest.
The problems identified with the Clinton campaign are clearly larger in scope, as seen in the following paragraphs from Corkin’s September 15 Observer report:
Exclusive: Hillary Clinton Campaign Systematically Overcharging Poorest Donors
Hillary Clinton’s campaign is stealing from her poorest supporters by purposefully and repeatedly overcharging them after they make what’s supposed to be a one-time small donation through her official campaign website, multiple sources tell the Observer.
The overcharges are occurring so often that the fraud department at one of the nation’s biggest banks receives up to 100 phone calls a day from Clinton’s small donors asking for refunds for unauthorized charges to their bankcards made by Clinton’s campaign.
… “We get up to a hundred calls a day from Hillary’s low-income supporters complaining about multiple unauthorized charges,” a source, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of job security, from the Wells Fargo fraud department told the Observer. The source claims that the Clinton campaign has been pulling this stunt since Spring of this year. The Hillary for America campaign will overcharge small donors by repeatedly charging small amounts such as $20 to the bankcards of donors who made a one-time donation. However, the Clinton campaign strategically doesn’t overcharge these donors $100 or more because the bank would then be obligated to investigate the fraud.
“We don’t investigate fraudulent charges unless they are over $100,” the fraud specialist explained. “The Clinton campaign knows this, that’s why we don’t see any charges over the $100 amount, they’ll stop the charges just below $100. We’ll see her campaign overcharge donors by $20, $40 or $60 but never more than $100.” The source, who has worked for Wells Fargo for over 10 years, said that the total amount they refund customers on a daily basis who have been overcharged by Clinton’s campaign “varies” but the bank usually issues refunds that total between $700 and $1,200 per day.
… The source said that pornography companies often deploy a similar arrangement pull. “We see this same scheme with a lot of seedy porn companies,” the source said. The source also notes that the dozens of phone calls his department receives daily are from people who notice the fraudulent charges on their statements. “The people who call us are just the ones who catch the fraudulent charges. I can’t imagine how many more people are getting overcharged by Hillary’s campaign and they have no idea.”
The source said he’s apolitical but noted that the bank’s fraud department is yet to receive one call from a Donald Trump supporter claiming to have been overcharged by Trump’s campaign. “I’m only talking to you because what Hillary’s doing is so messed up, she’s stealing from her poorest supporters.”
The Observer also has new information about the Minnesota woman whose story was locally reported back in June:
Carol Mahre, an 81-year-old grandmother of seven from Minnesota, is one of the victims of Clinton’s campaign donor fraud scandal. In March, Mahre said she made a one-time $25 donation via Clinton’s official campaign website. However, when she received her U.S. Bank card statement, she noticed multiple $25 charges were made. (Note: A photo of the related statement is at the Observer link. — Ed.)
… (Her son) Roger, who is an attorney, told the Observer that he called the Clinton campaign dozens of times in April and early May in an attempt to resolve the issue. “It took me at least 40 to 50 phone calls to the campaign office before I finally got ahold of someone,” Roger said. “After I got a campaign worker on the phone, she said they would stop making the charges.”
Incredibly, the very next day, Carol’s card was charged yet again and the campaign had never reversed the initial fraudulent charges.
… The Clinton campaign overcharged Carol $25 three times and then overcharged her one time for $19, a grand total of $94 in fraudulent charges.
… Since Carol’s story became public, Roger said he’s heard from other people who have been ripped off by the Clinton campaign.
Predictably, Kim Lacapria at Snopes took Corkin’s multiple-sourced story and pretended that it’s virtually meaningless. After all, it is “based on a single, three-month old complaint.” Actually, Kim, Corkin substantially built on a complaint that is three months old because the rest of the press ignored it, even though it jumped on a complaint about the Trump campaign within hours of its appearance.
Lacapria also did not tell readers that the woman’s son, an attorney, had received several calls from others going through the same experience.
She also claimed:
We contacted Wells Fargo’s fraud department in an attempt to verify the breadth of fraudulent charge issue, and after placing us on hold, a representative ambiguously stated that the rumor “had nothing to do” specifically with the campaign of Hillary Clinton …
That’s interesting, Kim, because it appears that Wells Fargo doesn’t have a single “fraud department.” It has several. So it’s odd that you didn’t tell us that you, as I would expect, called Credit Card Fraud. Are you sure you talked to someone in a position to render a knowledgeable comment, and not just someone who wanted you to go away? How can we be sure you talked to anyone at all?
Snopes evaluates the Observer’s claims about the Clinton campaign as “Unproven.”
Translation: “You know, there’s a lot of specific multiple-sourced evidence here that we’d rather not discuss, so rather than call several people liars or concede that there is any truth to this, we’re just going to say it’s ‘unproven.’ Nyah-nyah, nyah-nyah-nyah.”
Meanwhile, a search at Google News on “Clinton overcharges” at 12:30 Eastern Time on Tuesday (not in quotes, past week, sorted by date with no duplicates) returned about 20 relevant items, none of which was from an establishment press outlet. Additionally, as if anyone should be surprised, searches at the Associated Press and the New York Times also returned nothing.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.