On Tuesday, Donald Trump spoke aboard the decommissioned U-S-S Iowa battleship near Los Angeles, as part of a fundraiser for a group called "Veterans for a Strong America"; which is led by Sioux Falls attorney Joel Arends.
Arends attended the speech. In fact, Arends introduced Trump before the speech.
That same night, MSNBC pundit Rachel Maddow asserted the group isn't a group....that the only true member is Arends himself. "But Veterans for a Strong America really does appear to be just one guy. This is apparently just a guy named Joel from South Dakota."
Late Thursday night, Arends arrived back in South Dakota.
We sat down with him and he told us the reason he and his group are being attacked is because they are endorsing Donald Trump for president. "This is what happens when a conservative group of veterans takes a stand on an issue. In this case the stand that we took was supporting Donald Trump and we're proud to make that endorsement. We think he is going to be a great Commander-In-Chief."
As for the assertion that "Veterans for a Strong America" is just him, Arends says he works in tandem with six volunteer board members and that he has a database of more than 500,000 members who have contacted the organization.