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Donald Trump campaign promised money to veterans group for campaign appearance

Donald Trump's presidential campaign offered to present a veterans charity with a six-figure check last week if they appeared on stage at a New Hampshire campaign rally, the vets group confirmed to CBS News.

Liberty House executive director Keith Howard told CBS that Trump's campaign called him Friday asking if he would appear at a Londonderry, New Hampshire rally on Monday -- just one day before state residents are scheduled to vote in the nation's first primary contest.

The GOP front-runner, Howard was told, would hand over a six-figure check to the charity on the event stage.

Despite the campaign's attempts -- first reported by The Daily Beast -- to cajole Liberty House into appearing at Trump's rally, Howard ultimately declined to appear.

"I'll be goddamned if I, in any way, support a political candidate or make a campaign appearance with any candidates," Howard said in an interview with The Daily Beast. "We stand for doing the right thing."

In an interview with "Face the Nation" host J... 01:00

Howard told CBS later that he feared Liberty House -- a Manchester-based nonprofit that provides housing services to American veterans transitioning from homelessness -- could be put in legal jeopardy over such a public endorsement of a presidential campaign.

The head of the veterans charity said he consulted with the New Hampshire Attorney General office and was advised that making a campaign appearance could endanger the group's nonprofit status.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Liberty House was one of the organizations Trump promised to fund last month after the candidate held a benefit in lieu of attending a Fox News-hosted GOP primary debate in Iowa.

The Donald J. Trump Foundation, the nonprofit arm of Trump's business empire, said it raised $6 million that night, with the candidate himself donating one million dollars. The organization later promised to disburse the funds to 22 different veterans charity groups.

Of the Trump campaign and his foundation, Howard noted that the "line seems to be non-existent."

Still, Liberty House will be accepting the promised cash -- in a decidedly less flashy, public way.

Trump's campaign eventually decided instead to present the check to New Hampshire State Rep. Al Baldasaro, a Trump supporter and a military vet, at Trump's rally Monday afternoon. At a later time, Baldasaro will then pass on the funds to Howard and Liberty House on behalf of the Trump Foundation.

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