Conservative commentator Matt Walsh has ripped into Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for refusing to accept the more than $104,000 he raised to help repair her grandmother’s home in Puerto Rico.
Walsh launched his attack on the Democratic ‘Squad’ leader during a Monday appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight, saying: ‘She’s a wealthy, single woman who has two apartments and a Tesla she just recently bought apparently.
‘She for whatever reason refused to help her own grandmother. We said: “Alright, you know what? We’ll get together and we’ll raise the money.” We raised $100,000 in ten hours, okay?
‘We probably could’ve raised a million dollars if they’d let the fundraiser continue, but someone, “someone” … in abuela’s family shut down the fundraiser about ten hours into it and said that she didn’t want the money.’
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Matt Walsh appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight on Monday, where he slammed AOC
‘This is a problem we could’ve solved not just for abuela but they could’ve taken the money, fix the ceiling, bought her some furniture she clearly needs, and then could’ve taken the rest of the money and helped the neighbors, they could’ve helped the whole community, but they didn’t want to do that,’ Walsh stated
Ocasio-Cortez posted images of her grandma’s falling-down house in Puerto Rico last week
Walsh said the refusal of the money raised questions about the true living conditions of Ocasio-Cortez’s grandmother and whether or not she was allowing her grandmother to live in poor conditions rather than take money from conservatives.
‘I think either way it’s sort of scandalous on AOC’s part,’ Walsh added.
Walsh went on to say that the money could’ve helped not only Ocasio-Cortez’s grandmother, but also others in the hard-hit community.
‘This is a problem we could’ve solved not just for abuela but they could’ve taken the money, fix the ceiling, bought her some furniture she clearly needs, and then could’ve taken the rest of the money and helped the neighbors, they could’ve helped the whole community, but they didn’t want to do that,’ Walsh stated.
According to Fox News, some of the donors to the GoFundMe campaign included Candance Owens and Ben Shapiro.
One image of AOC’s grandmother’s home shows a room where there is a dresser and more ceiling panels falling down
Another image shows a room with just a chair and several plastic buckets to catch water coming rom the ceiling, which is falling down in several spots
Ocasio-Cortez had posted images on social media last week showing the severely damaged house – with a falling-in ceiling – which she blamed on former President Trump, who she said had blocked aid to the hurricane-ravaged island and US territory.
Walsh said it was rich that someone who made $174,000 a year as a congresswoman – and drove a Tesla – would be begging on Twitter for help; he organized the GoFundMe campaign that had raised $104,000 by Saturday morning.
But a spokesperson for the crowdfunding platform GoFundMe told DailyMail.com on Saturday that ‘the beneficiary has made clear to our Trust and Safety team they do not wish to accept the donations.’
‘I can confirm the donations have been turned off and all donors will be fully refunded,’ GoFundMe spokesperson Bobby Whithorne told DailyMail.com.
Matt Walsh, a blogger for Daily Wire who launched the fundraiser, confirmed on Saturday that ‘someone in AOC’s abuela’s family told GoFundMe that she won’t take the money, even though AOC previously claimed that her grandma was in dire straits (and it was Trump’s fault)’
Walsh, who posted an email from GoFundMe on his Twitter account, added: ‘AOC still hasn’t acknowledged this effort or thanked us’
Walsh, a blogger for Daily Wire who launched the fundraiser, also confirmed on Saturday that ‘someone in AOC’s abuela’s family told GoFundMe that she won’t take the money, even though AOC previously claimed that her grandma was in dire straits (and it was Trump’s fault).’ Abuela is Spanish for grandmother.
Walsh, who posted an email from GoFundMe on his Twitter account, added: ‘AOC still hasn’t acknowledged this effort or thanked us.’
Critics, including Walsh, were quick to jump on Ocasio-Cortez’s initial post on Wednesday showing her grandmother’s home in a dilapidated state after it sustained damage due to Hurricane Maria in September 2017.
The critics questioned why the progressive lawmaker who makes $174,000 and drives a Tesla isn’t sending money to help her grandmother.
Walsh announced the crowdfunding effort on his Twitter feed last week
On Twitter, Walsh was accused of ‘turning charity into a racist “f*** you”‘
‘Abuela is not my enemy,’ Walsh tweeted at a Twitter user who criticized him. ‘Her wealthy socialist granddaughter declined to help so I stepped into the void. What’s the problem here?’
‘On June 2nd, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reported to Twitter that her dear abuela has fallen ill and continues to live in squalid conditions since her home was ravaged by Hurricane María,’ Walsh wrote on the GoFundMe crowdfunding page on Friday.
‘One cannot be certain of the cost to repair grandma’s house, but surely most of the work could be completed for the price of AOC’s shiny Tesla Model 3.
‘As AOC pointed out to us, we “don’t even have a concept for the role that [incredibly successful children of two American citizens…] play in their families,” but clearly caring for their own grandparent isn’t part of it.
‘Says the congresswoman, “…instead of only caring for [my own grandmother] & letting others suffer, I’m calling attention to the systemic injustices…”
‘No, seriously. She really said that.
‘Sadly, virtue-signaling isn’t going to fix abuela’s roof. So we are.
‘Let’s all kick in to help save AOC’s abuela’s ancestral home. Any amount is appreciated, but the cost of a monthly lease payment on that Tesla is around $499…
‘All proceeds will be donated to abuela, if she will accept them.’
Walsh was also criticized by fellow conservatives, including Elijah Schaffer, a reporter for the right-leaning The Blaze
Amanda Milius, a former Trump administration official, said the fundraiser was a ‘stupid [and] not even remotely humored AOC-obsessed GOP stunt’
Another Twitter user accused Walsh of running a ‘fraudulent fundraiser’
As of Saturday morning, the fundraiser raised a total of $104,153, but GoFundMe says that all of the money will be returned to each donor.
The crowdfunding effort took off after Walsh’s hashtag #HelpAbuela went viral on Twitter.
Nonetheless it generated outrage from both the left and the right.
Amanda Milius, a former Trump administration official, said the fundraiser was a ‘stupid [and] not even remotely humored AOC-obsessed GOP stunt’ and that donors should give money to ‘actual people who need help.’
Walsh replied to Milius: ‘Of course we do something new and interesting and some people on the right whine about it.
‘Not sure how our fundraiser is preventing anyone from donating to any other fundraiser, but okay Amanda.
‘Sorry you’re offended.’
‘I don’t know why I’m trending,’ Walsh tweeted. ‘All I wanted to do was help a poor grandmother out’
When Walsh was told that he was ‘sick in the mind,’ he responded: ‘Why? Can’t a guy raise money for an abuela? What’s sick about that?’
Elijah Schaffer, a reporter for the right-leaning The Blaze, tweeted: ‘Conservatives are raising money for AOC’s family & I can’t even breathe. Lol.
‘As if we weren’t taken advantage of and abused by the Dems already, now we paying their family bills.’
Walsh tweeted in response to Schaffer: ‘I’m a philanthropist, Elijah. Just doing what philanthropists do.
‘AOC has her money tied up in Tesla car payments so I’m stepping in to solve the problem. That’s all there is to it.’
Others like columnist Kurt Schlichter praised Walsh, saying his fundraiser was ‘genius.’
Gina Bontempo tweeted: ‘As a self-proclaimed 1st-gen, first-born minority daughter, AOC should feel so ashamed that a straight white Christian male like Matt Walsh is doing more to help her poverty-stricken abuela than she is.
‘He’s raised over $40,000 already.’
Conservative columnist Matt Walsh excoriated AOC for choosing to spend money on a new Tesla instead of sending part of her $174,000 salary to her grandma in Puerto Rico
Others offered harsh criticism, with one Twitter user calling Walsh ‘sick in the mind.’
Another Twitter user denounced Walsh as a ‘fascist’ and urged others to report the ‘fraudulent fundraising activity’ to GoFundMe.
DailyMail.com has reached out to Walsh and Ocasio-Cortez’s office for comment.
Ocasio-Cortez on Wednesday posted the initial tweet that generated a backlash from conservatives.
‘Just over a week ago, my abuela fell ill. I went to Puerto Rico to see her- my 1st time in a year+ bc of COVID,’ Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter.
‘This is her home,’ she continued, posting two pictures of mostly-empty rooms where the ceiling is falling in and plastic buckets on the ground are collecting water. Also in the images are one chair, one dresser and a tarp on the ground.
‘Hurricane María relief hasn’t arrived. Trump blocked relief $ for PR. People are being forced to flee ancestral homes, & developers are taking them,’ the New York congresswoman wrote.
Stock photo of an image of the living rooms in the apartment units where Ocasio-Cortez rents in Washington D.C.
Walsh jumped on the post: ‘AOC went and bought herself a Tesla while her grandmother lives in a shack with a collapsing ceiling.’
‘It never fails with these champagne socialists,’ he continued. ‘They expect everyone else to make sacrifices while making none themselves.’
‘AOC is willing to redistribute everyone’s money but her own,’ Parkland school shooting survivor Kyle Kashuv agreed in his own post.
GOP candidate for Florida’s 24th congressional district Lavern Spicer boiled the situation down to one word – ‘sad.’
‘Honey, you drive a Tesla and have two apartments,’ she tweeted on Wednesday. ‘If your grandmother is living poor that’s because you don’t help her out. I’m surprised that a socialist wouldn’t redistribute that wealth to their grandma.’
AOC has an apartment in her home district in New York City and a luxury apartment in Washington, D.C. where one bedroom units – at least those where the bedroom actually has a window – starts at $2,500 per month.
Ocasio-Cortez, who represents New York’s 14th congressional district and is a self-described Democratic socialist, continued to blame Trump in her Twitter thread.
The one-bedroom units in luxury apartment building start at $2,500 per month if residents want to have a window to outside from their bedroom
‘In the aftermath of María, the Trump admin oversaw two key items: handing millions in public $ to unqualified donor pals (ex Whitefish). The other was to impose extremely difficult eligibility rules for Puerto Ricans, which allowed mass rejections of recovery fund applications,’ she wrote.
‘I want to be clear – while Trump admin had a major role, it wasn’t just them,’ she said. ‘La Junta, local policies, etc were all on the same page: policies that pushed out local families. To turn this around, we need audits & get recovery relief to people ASAP, without the onerous strings.’
She did clarify ‘for the record – my abuela is doing okay.’
‘It’s not about us, but about what’s happening to Puerto Rican’s across the island. She had a place to go to and be cared for – what about the thousands of people who don’t?’
A Twitter user wrote to AOC: ‘Sell your Tesla! You should be ashamed for letting her live like this. We have a responsibility to care for our elders!?’
Another said: ‘Are you seriously admitting to the whole internet that you let your grandma sleep on a bare wood platform while you drive around in a tesla? how could you not wire a couple thousand bucks to your own grandma?’
Ocasio-Cortez’s white Tesla was spotted illegally parked last month outside the Whole Foods under her apartment building in an upscale neighborhood of Washington, D.C. less than a mile from Capitol Hill.
Former Puerto Rico Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, who was in office when Hurricane Maria hit, sympathized with AOC.
‘This is how it is,’ she wrote. ‘The investors and those who believe in privatizing essential services are taking advantage of the tragedy of Puerto Rico and our people.’
Cruz was in office from 2013 to 2020 and was highly critical of Trump when he was president.