The organizer of an effort to crowdfund construction for the southern border wall has a new plan to raise money: selling commemorative coins with his face on them.
Fans of Brian Kolfage, the triple-amputee Iraq War veteran behind the border wall effort that started on GoFundMe, can now buy a “Brian Kolfage Collector's Coin” coin for $49.99. One side of the coin features the logo of Kolfage’s nonprofit, We Build the Wall. The other side bears Kolfage’s Twitter profile picture, and the inscription “We Build the Wall / Brian Kolfage.”
Proceeds from the Kolfage coin sales will go towards the wall effort, according to We Build the Wall. Kolfage, who raised more than $20 million for the wall before moving the fundraising to his nonprofit, has said he won’t draw a salary from the group.
Kolfage’s crowdfunding campaign turned him into an instant celebrity among supporters of President Donald Trump, who were frustrated as the president’s own efforts to fund the wall struggled to gain traction. But soon after the crowdfunding effort took off, Kolfage came under fire after it was revealed that before his wall campaign, he had run Facebook pages that promoted fake stories and hoaxes and raised money for a veterans’ program that never materialized.
Kolfage insist that his current effort to help collect donations for wall construction is real. He has been visiting border states with We Build the Wall’s advisors and claimed at an event last week that construction on the privately funded will begin in a few months. But it’s not clear where that wall will be, or what it’ll be made out of. We Build the Wall adviser and former White House strategist Steve Bannon, for example, has floated the idea of making the wall out of hemp.
We Build the Wall is also selling a $49.99 coin with Trump’s visage. In addition, the group is selling a “gold signature series” coin that features another picture of Kolfage. Wall supporters hoping to get that last coin, however, will have to buy all three of the coins (the silver Kolfage coin, the Trump coin, and the gold Kolfage coin) for a combined $149.95. But that’s a bargain, according to We Build the Wall, which claims that the three-coins set is a “$200 value.”
Kolfage did not immediately say how many coins he had sold.
Buyers of the first 1,000 bundles will also receive a signed picture of Kolfage and some of the various Trump-world luminaries who make up We Build the Wall’s advisory board, including former Rep. Tom Tancredo, former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, and former Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke. Along with Kolfage, the group is dubbed “THE MAGA ALL-STARS.”
“DO NOT MISS YOUR CHANCE!” the nonprofit’s website warns.
But the Kolfage coins aren’t the only things wall supporters can buy to show their support. We Build the Wall has launched a wide-ranging merchandise operation since going public as a nonprofit last month. Trump fans can now buy We Build the Wall clocks, aprons, and pillows. Kolfage himself plays a prominent role in the merchandise, with his face and accompanying inspirational quotes appearing on T-shirts and towels.
"At times you may feel like David fighting Goliath, but remember David did win," reads one T-shirt quote, alongside an illustration of Kolfage.
Though Trump declared a national emergency on Friday to divert more funding to the wall, Kolfage told The Daily Beast that his effort to raise funds remains relevant and ongoing.
“Every mile counts,” Kolfage told The Daily Beast in an email. “We are supplementing his plan.”
With less than $21 million raised over two months, Kolfage’s fundraising effort is nowhere close to its $1 billion goal. But Kolfage claims that some of the world’s wealthiest people are behind the effort, raising the prospect of some well-heeled donors backing the wall.
“We have billionaires now on board,” Kolfage said.
Kolfage refused to name any of the billionaires.