A right-wing writer who crowdfunded $100,000 to repair the Puerto Rico home of AOC’s grandmother says she declined to accept the money

AOC alexandria ocasio cortez
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., attends a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Wednesday, July 17, 2019.

  • Right-wing writer Matt Walsh of the Daily Wire raised over $100,000 for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s grandmother in Puerto Rico.
  • Ocasio-Cortez posted photos of her grandmother’s home after Hurricane Maria. She called out delayed relief.
  • Walsh accused the NY lawmaker of “virtue-signaling.”
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A right-wing writer crowdfunded over $100,000 after launching a campaign for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s grandmother.

Matt Walsh, a writer with conservative outlet the Daily Wire, began the GoFundMe on Friday after criticizing Ocasio-Cortez for “allowing” her grandma to live in dire conditions.

Ocasio-Cortez earlier this week tweeted out that her grandma is ill and hasn’t yet received hurricane relief in the wake of Hurricane Maria, which hit the US territory more than three years ago. In her tweet slamming former President Donald Trump over delayed relief in Puerto Rico, the New York lawmaker shared photos showing bare living quarters with ceiling tiles peeling off and buckets set up around a room to catch dripping water.

“This is her home. Hurricane María relief hasn’t arrived. Trump blocked relief $ for PR,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

Walsh accused Ocasio-Cortez of “virtue-signaling” and living large while her family needs help.

“Shameful that you live in luxury while allowing your own grandmother to suffer in these squalid conditions,” Walsh tweeted in response to Ocasio-Cortez.

Within hours of going live, Walsh’s campaign reached its goal of $48,990. Ocasio-Cortez’s grandmother has declined to accept the money, according to Walsh, who spoke with Insider. The campaign raised over $104,000 before GoFundMe shut it down, he said, and the money will be returned in full to each donor.

In a tweet in reply to Ocasio-Cortez, Walsh asked the New York rep to DM him details so he could send her grandma the raised funds.

Walsh told Insider AOC “ignored us” when he reached out over Twitter asking for the information to transfer funds over.

Walsh on Twitter wrote that GoFundMe in an email said the family has “made clear they will not be accepting the funds raised.”

After Walsh started the GoFundMe, #HelpAbuela began trending on Twitter.

Ocasio-Cortez posted photos of her grandmother’s home to illustrate the dire conditions in Puerto Rico post- Hurricane Maria. She faulted Trump for delaying and denying aid to the island after the catastrophic hurricane.

“What’s happening to Puerto Ricans is systemic,” she said in her tweet.

Ocasio-Cortez’s office also didn’t immediately respond to an email from Insider.

But in a tweet to Walsh, Ocasio-Cortez stressed that her grandma is doing okay and she is trying to raise awareness that Puerto Rico needs aid.

“My abuela is okay,” she said. “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.”

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National Guard asks people to please stop trying to give it donations, after photos of National Guardsmen sleeping on the floor of the Capitol spread on social media

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UNITED STATES – JANUARY 13: A member of the National Guard reads Atlas Shrugged in the Capitol Visitor Center as the House debates an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Wednesday, January 13, 2021.

  • The National Guard said Wednesday that it is not capable of accepting donations.
  • The statement came after some were moved to donate after seeing photos of National Guard members sleeping on the floor of the US Capitol.
  • The National Guard assured the public that its members have proper sleeping quarters.
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Members of the US National Guard were seen Wednesday sleeping on the floors of the US Capitol, but that does not mean they lack proper sleeping quarters or otherwise help from members of the public.

“While we appreciate the many offers and people who care about our soldiers and airmen, we are not logistically able to accept donations of any kind,” the National Guard said in a statement.

Thousands of National Guard members are currently in Washington, DC, to prevent a repeat of the January 6 insurrection and any outbreaks of violence during President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

In response to news stories about soldiers laying on the floor of the Capitol, some were moved to act, thinking a cold, hard floor was to be their only respite.

Brian Bartlett, a Republican communications strategist, raised more than $3,000 on GoFundMe to buy sleeping pads “so they can get a decent rest as they protect our democracy!”

But the National Guard soon clarified: “please know our National Guardsmen have appropriate lodging for when they are off-duty; the photos circulating are of them on-duty, in a designated rest area between shifts.”

In an update, Bartlett told supporters he would be returning the sleeping pads he purchased “and asking GoFundMe to refund all donations.”

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