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Trump raised $149.6 million for inauguration, doubling Obama's record

20 April 2017
Trump raised $149.6 million for inauguration, doubling Obama's record

President Trump, who has moved quickly to sweep aside environmental regulations he says curtail US energy production, took in more than $8 million from energy interests to help underwrite his January 20 inauguration, according to a USA TODAY analysis of a newly filed inaugural report.

On Tuesday, a Federal Election Commission filing revealed that the Las Vegas Sands casino owner and anti-online gambling curmudgeon had contributed $5m to Trump's coming out party in Washington this January.

Trump's Presidential Inaugural Committee, or PIC, announced Tuesday that it raised just under $107 million to pay for all inauguration activities. Depending on the level of contribution, donors gained access to a slate of private events with Trump and his inner circle, as well as special seating for his swearing in and other public events.

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. Health care, energy and beverage companies were among many businesses giving US$250,000 or more.

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Trump's associates and longtime friends also contributed a significant amount of money.

Anti-online gambling advocate Sheldon Adelson cut a $5m check to US President Donald Trump's inauguration fund, so can a quid pro quo on banning online gambling be far behind? AT&T gave $2 million, plus $82,483 in mobile equipment and software.

In a statement, Trump's committee said it is in the process of identifying charities that will receive contributions from leftover funds.

Steve Wynn donated $729,217 in entertainment through Wynn Resorts.

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Trump struggled to raise large sums of money for much of the campaign, though the report shows a large number of traditional donors and companies in recent months making amends by funding his inauguration. Kerrigan said the inaugural events may have served as an opportunity for donors to try to curry favor with the incoming president.

Billionaire investor Paul Singer gave $1 million after long expressing skepticism about Trump. Harry Pefanis, vice chairman of PAA Natural Gas Storage LP, gave $100,000. Four years before that, Obama had 10 official balls and raised more than $53 million, a record at the time. Obama took corporate donations in 2013 for his second inaugural.

Trump appears to have set comparatively few limits for his inauguration.

"It's either make-up money or it's a continuation of support by people who are invested in Trump".

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Companies also gave huge in-kind contributions of goods and services, including $2.1 million from AT&T for mobile equipment and software, almost $500,000 in "vehicle expenses" from General Motors, $500,000 in equipment from Microsoft, $300,000 in food and beverages from Coca Cola, $257,000 from Pepsi and more than $500,000 in delivery services from FedEx.