Billionaires, companies power Trump's record inaugural haul
Donald Trump's inaugural committee raised $106.7 million for his inauguration, shattering fundraising records and doubling the $53 million Barack Obama raised in 2009.
Trump's $107 million fundraising total is "an very bad lot of money - it's roughly what we spent on two", said Steve Kerrigan, who was CEO for Obama's inaugural committee in 2013 and chief of staff in 2009. However, they do not reveal how Trump's inaugural committee spent the money or if any was left over.
Among the biggest donors for the celebration of Trump's taking office in Washington were casino-owner billionaires Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn, a filing of more than 500 pages made public Wednesday by the Federal Election Commission shows.
The committee said it hosted more than 20 events during the inaugural festivities, including a free concert near the Lincoln Memorial and two inaugural balls.
Spectators fill the National Mall in front of the US Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC for the inauguration of Donald Trump.
The report also shows the influence of large corporations, who can not give directly to candidates during the campaign: Bank of America, Pfizer, Boeing, Dow Chemical and AT&T each gave $1 million to support Trump during the lead-up to the inauguration.
"We are proud that we had the opportunity to support the Presidential Inauguration committee, the organization behind a uniquely American event that allows for the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to the next". His contribution is a record amount from a single donor since inaugural committees started disclosing after Richard Nixon's presidency.
Other donors include some people who were once critical of Trump but may now seek a better relationship with the White House, including NY fundraiser Paul Singer, who once predicted Trump would trigger a global recession but gave him $1 million in early December. Federal campaigns wouldn't be able receive the money because it was raised outside contribution limits, he said.
Exxon officials did not immediately respond to an interview request about the donation.
Trump's committee raised a record $106.7 million from private sources to fund six days of events surrounding his January 20 swearing-in. President George W. Bush limited gifts at $100,000 in 2001 and $250,000 in 2005.
The hefty donations will likely raise questions about Trump perceivably being beholden to his donors. They included Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, a longtime Trump friend who was visiting the White House on Wednesday with his Super Bowl-winning team. He promised to give any extra money to charity, but didn't specify which ones.
The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Howard Lutnick, chairman and CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald, gave $1 million.