Conservative commentator Matt Walsh revealed on Saturday that the “family” of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s grandmother will not be accepting the money he raised to repair her home after the New York Democrat blamed former President Donald Trump for blocking aid that was supposed to be sent to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.
Walsh took to Twitter and shared an email he received from the GoFundMe Trust & Safety Team, who informed him that they had been in communications with the “beneficiary’s family,” who made it clear that “they will not be accepting the funds raised.”
“When a beneficiary doesn’t want to accept the funds that have been raised on their behalf, it is standard practice to turn off donations, then refund all donors,” GoFundMe told Walsh.
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“UPDATE: ‘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 tweeted Saturday morning. “@AOC still hasn’t acknowledged this effort or thanked us.”
Walsh continued: “Tragically this charitable effort has been sabotaged by forces outside of our control. Still I’m grateful for the outpouring of support for abuela, even if AOC isn’t. But questions remain: Why didn’t AOC help her own abuela? Why was our help turned down? We are left to speculate. In the end, our campaign raised 100 thousand dollars and could have solved a problem in ten hours that AOC couldn’t solve in four years. We can all be proud of that. As for abuela, all we can do now is pray.”
The #HelpAbuela raised $104,153 in less than 12 hours. Walsh disabled new donations on the GoFundMe page Friday night.
A spokesperson for GoFundMe confirmed to Fox News that the “beneficiary” did not want to accept the money and that “all donors will be fully refunded.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
On Tuesday, the Democratic “Squad” member took to Twitter following her visit to her “abuela” (“grandmother” in Spanish) for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak and documented the damage to her home that remained from the natural disaster in 2017.
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“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. This is her home,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted while sharing images of buckets on the floor catching leaking water and damage to the ceiling. “Hurricane María relief hasn’t arrived. Trump blocked relief $ for PR. People are being forced to flee ancestral homes, & developers are taking them.”
She continued, “We immediately got to work reaching out to community advocates and leaders and following the money. What’s happening to Puerto Ricans is systemic. Much of it can be traced to La Junta, aka the Wall Street-connected fiscal control board that the US gave power to over the island.”
Ocasio-Cortez accused the Trump administration of overseeing “millions in public $” being handed to “unqualified donor pals” and imposing “extremely difficult eligibility rules for Puerto Ricans, which allowed mass rejections of recovery fund applications.”
“I want to be clear – while Trump admin had a major role, it wasn’t just them,” the congresswoman wrote in the Twitter thread. “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. And 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?”
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At the time, Walsh reacted to her tweets saying, “Shameful that you live in luxury while allowing your own grandmother to suffer in these squalid conditions.”
The Democrat fired back, “You don’t even have a concept for the role that 1st-gen, first-born daughters play in their families. My abuela is okay. But instead of only caring for mine & letting others suffer, I’m calling attention to the systemic injustices you seem totally fine w/ in having a US colony.”
On Friday, Walsh launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to “Save AOC’s Abuela’s Ancestral Home.”
“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,” Walsh wrote in the campaign description. “Sadly, virtue-signaling isn’t going to fix abuela’s roof. So we are.
Walsh continued, “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.”
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The Daily Wire personality promoted the fundraiser on Twitter, revealing he kicked off the fundraising with a $499 donation, which he stressed is the cost of a Tesla monthly lease payment.
The #HelpAbuela campaign had attracted big-name donors including Ben Shapiro, Candace Owens, and Dave Rubin.