A record-breaking $107 million poured in for President Trump’s inauguration celebration from corporate giants, business titans and a roster of NFL owners, raising new questions about the influence of money in politics.
On Tuesday, the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC), an organization appointed by the President-elect to plan and coordinate all inauguration activities, filed a 510-page report with the Federal Election Committee (FEC) to disclose that they had raised a staggering $106.7 million in donations — the most ever raised for a president’s inauguration.
In a statement, the inaugural committee said Trump’s inauguration “was one of the most accessible and affordable inaugurations for the public in recent history.”
The release of the contribution records reveals that Trump’s top inaugural donors included business leaders and corporations, including several from the financial, energy, and technology sector that have business dealings with the U.S. government.
“This is the complete opposite of what candidate Trump campaigned on, where he attacked these huge corporations, made clear they could buy politicians because he had done so, and is the political equivalent of overflowing the swamp not draining it,” said Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy21, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works on money in politics and government reform issues.
He added that the report shows that Trump appears to have raised “influence money,” despite his campaign promises to avoid special interests.
The White House did not immediately return ABC News’ request for comment
Energy companies also contributed heavily. Chevron Products, Exxon and Citgo each donated more than $500,000.
Trump’s largest donor was gambling billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who gave $5 million.
The FEC requires reporting of individual donations, in money or items, with a value of $200 or more made to inaugural committees. However, where the money was spent and how it was used is still a mystery since the FEC does not require that information to be reported.
The big-money donations appear to counter Trump’s own statements. In August of last year, Trump railed against big-money donors who seek to curry favor with elected politicians.
“Look, I know the people that want something. I’ve been doing this all my life. I’ve been a very big contributor to many, many people on all sides for many, many years,” Trump stated on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “I don’t want lobbyists. I don’t want special interests.”
According to a brochure obtained by the Center For Public…