When Lanny Davis first announced that he'd created the "Michael Cohen Truth Fund" to help pay for some of the expenses of his embattled client's crusade to "tell the truth about Donald Trump," he initially inspired more groans than donations. But after a week, the GoFundMe page managed to amass over $165,000 amid Davis suggesting that his client had some damning info on Trump and Russian "collusion."
But after Davis admitted to making false claims to multiple outlets about what his client does or doesn't know about Trump and Russia, at least a few of Davis' donors are calling on him to offer a refund.
The Washington Examiner spoke with a few of the people willing to list their names as donors to Davis on the "Truth Fund" page and found that some aren't happy about him admitting to spreading untruths:
A Switzerland-based tax adviser who donated $150 to the " truth fund" told the Washington Examiner that she read articles describing Davis' walk-back on Tuesday morning and would now like a refund.
"If it is possible to get the money back, I would appreciate this," she said.
Los Angeles-based attorney Henry Gradstein said he's not particularly concerned about losing $100, but that refunds might be the right thing to do.
"As an ethical matter, yes, very disappointing," Gradstein said regarding whether he wanted a refund. "As a practical matter, no — it’s $100."
Another donor who offered his thoughts to the Examiner said he doesn't care about getting his $300 back, stressing that he hopes Mike Pence will "stand up be his own man" and "salvage the reputation of the presidency and our party."
Davis helped promote the fund by teasing a claim he made previously to multiple outlets, most notably CNN: that his client would testify to Robert Mueller that he witnessed Donald Trump Jr. inform his dad in advance about the infamous Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer.
But last week, Davis walked back the claim, which turned out to be the basis of multiple "bombshell" reports last month, particularly a piece by CNN, which "broke" the ultimately "fake news" story about Cohen's supposed knowledge about the Trump Tower meeting. On Monday, Davis admitted that he was a key source for CNN's now debunked report, which the network has refused to retract. The Daily Wire's Ryan Saavedra reports (formatting adjusted):
Cohen's lawyer, Lanny Davis, told CNN's Anderson Cooper last week that Cohen "does not" have any information that Trump knew about the meeting in advance, saying, "I think the reporting of the story got mixed up in the course of a criminal investigation. We were not the source of the story."
However, Davis told BuzzFeed News on Monday that he was the source for CNN's July 26 report — which directly contradicts what he told Cooper. Davis insisted that he did not lie, but claimed that he "unintentionally misspoke," and that he "made a mistake." However, Davis admitting that he was the source for the report — which he has since stated was not true — was not the only development to come out of CNN's report. ... CNN used Davis as the anonymous source for their report and then claimed that they reached out to him for comment, stating that he "declined to comment."