Trump shatters fundraising record with $107 million for inauguration

20 April, 2017, 08:52 | Author: Garry Little
  • Rob Carr  Getty Images

President Trump's inaugural committee said Tuesday that it raised almost $107 million for festivities surrounding his January 20 swearing-in, about double the haul for any other incoming president. Trump's committee, helmed by private equity titan Tom Barrack, raised almost twice as much money as former President Barack Obama's first inauguration, which pulled in 53 million dollars.

Jewish-American billionaire and casino mogul Sheldon Adelson made history earlier this year by writing a $5 million check to help underwrite US President Donald Trump's inauguration festivities. Wynn donated $729,217 through his Wynn Resorts.

Another notable tech contribution came from Rob Parsons, the billionaire GoDaddy founder, who gave $1 million.

As part of that process, it plans to identify charities that will receive donations from excess money in its account. Much of that money was distributed in May 2016, after The Washington Post pressed him about whether he had followed through on his promise.

And tech companies that showed little support for Trump during the campaign also gave hundreds of thousands to the committee.

In addition, big donors to Trump's inauguration received special inauguration-weekend treats: tickets to the swearing-in and their names printed on inauguration programs, for example, according to an inauguration brochure first published by the Center for Public Integrity. President Barack Obama outright prohibited lobbyists and corporations from donating to his 2009 inauguration and limited individual gifts to $50,000, although in 2013 he limited individual gifts to $250,000 and allowed corporate gifts of up to $1 million.

Trump's friendships with Kraft, as well as New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, drew attention during campaign season and as the team proceeded to its Super Bowl victory in February.

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For Obama's lower-key second inaugural in 2013, his committee raised about $43 million.

"For many years, AT&T has contributed to our nation's presidential inaugural celebrations", said AT&T spokesman Mike Balmoris. Officials with Trump's committee said they will donate still-to-be-determined leftover funds to charities that will announced at a later date.

Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer infamously - and incorrectly - claimed at his first White House briefing that Trump's crowd was "the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period".

Billionaire investor Paul Singer gave $1 million after long expressing skepticism about Trump. Bank of America, Charles Schwab, Forrest and Lutnick did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Former President George W. Bush raised $40 million to $42 million for each of his two inaugurations.

The hefty donations will likely raise questions about Trump perceivably being beholden to his donors.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal, owned by Adelson, became the first major newspaper to endorse Trump for president in 2016. Howard Lutnick, chairman and CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald, gave $1 million.


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