Huge indeed: $107M in donations for Trump's inaugural

Rob Carr  Getty Images

Rob Carr Getty Images

Donations from large USA companies and their executives helped propel spending on Donald Trump's Presidential inauguration to a record-setting $US106.7 million, according to a U.S. government filing.

Kraft's company Kraft Group LLC donated $1 million to Trump's inaugural fund, according to recently released Federal Election Commission filings, making him the most generous MA donor to Trump's inauguration.

Trump's total take was about double the previous record set by Barack Obama, who collected $53 million in contributions in 2009, and had money left over to spend on the annual Easter egg roll and other White House events.

The biggest donor by far to Mr Trump's inauguration was Sheldon Adelson, casino magnate and founder of Las Vegas Sands Corp. And they gained access to a private lunch with the new president and lawmakers at the Capitol.

Among the top individual donors to Trump's inauguration was Detroit-based Walbridge construction company CEO John Rakolta Jr., who also supported Trump's campaign efforts and gave $250,000 on January 19 - the day before the inauguration.

Money donated to the Trump inaugural committee fell into two categories, University of Virginia political analyst Larry Sabato said.

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Wynn, who has a long and complex relationship with Trump, is now the top fundraiser for the Republican National Committee. Telecom giant AT&T, which is awaiting a Justice Department review of its proposed $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner, donated $2.08 million to the inaugural committee, records show. 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. Clifford Forrest, owner of the Rosebud Mining Co, gave $1 million.

Additional $1 million contributors from the energy sector include a trust tied to billionaire coal operator Joseph Craft and John Hess, the chief executive of the Hess Corp., an oil and gas exploration and production company. Wynn donated $729,217 through his Wynn Resorts.

It was the largest-ever single contribution for an inauguration, said the report. Kerrigan said the inaugural events may have served as an opportunity for donors who held back during the presidential campaign to try to curry favor by showing support for the incoming president.

Billionaire investor Paul Singer, for example, gave US$1 million after long expressing skepticism about Trump. The money paid for 20 events during the extravaganza, but produced excess cash that will be donated in the future to a charity, organizers said.

The contributions from the insurers were modest compared to what some other corporate giants gave to pay for the inauguration festivities. Obama limited contributions to US$50,000 in 2009 but lifted that cap four years later.

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