Trump Fails to Spread His Wealth Among GOP Rivals
Donald Trump boasted in Thursday night’s debate that he has given his rivals on the GOP stage “a lot of money,” but a review of federal campaign records shows his declaration falls short.
According to data from the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, Trump has never given a federal campaign contribution to Sens. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz or Lindsey Graham and did not give to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign in 2008. The Washington Post and other media outlets reported Trump has given $500 to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. In 2003, Trump gave $2,000 to George W. Bush’s presidential campaign.
But he has given a lot of money to the Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton: 12 times, the records show, most recently in November 2009. Trump, who has changed his party affiliation several times, did not give to Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections.
With the GOP hoping to expand its congressional majority in 2016, the man who thinks he can lead the party into the White House has yet to donate this cycle.
Sen. Rand Paul took a shot at Trump, who said during the debate that he’d be unwilling to pledge support to the eventual Republican nominee: “This is what’s wrong. He buys and sells politicians of all stripes.” Trump has never donated to Paul or to Ron Paul, the Kentucky senator’s father, and many presidential contenders joked they were waiting for their checks.
The business mogul isn’t partisan when it comes to contributions to leadership, according to the campaign finance records. Since 1989, Trump has donated $11,400 to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, most recently in 2013. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has received $9,400 since 1989 from Trump, most recently in 2009.
Trump has never contributed to Speaker John A. Boehner or House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, although in last night’s debate he was asked, “What did you get from Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi?” He focused his response on Clinton, saying, “Well, I’ll tell you what, with Hillary Clinton, I said be at my wedding and she came to my wedding.”
Sen. Charles E. Schumer, widely expected to be the next Senate Democratic leader, has also benefited from Trump’s largesse. He’s received $9,900 since 1996, with the most recent check coming in 2010. Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, the most senior member of the Senate, once received $1,000 from Trump in 1997.
The billionaire has also spread his wealth to other members of the congressional leadership. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn received $2,500 from Trump in 2013 and $2,600 in 2014, the records show. Assistant Minority Leader Richard J. Durbin received $500 from Trump in 1996 and $1,000 in 2007.
Trump, who is very outspoken when it comes to criticizing President Barack Obama’s tenure, has never given a federal campaign contribution to Obama. But, in 2001, he gave $1,000 to Joseph R. Biden Jr. when he was a senator. The vice president’s 2016 presidential intentions are currently the focus of media speculation and stories.
Obama’s secretary of State, John Kerry, has received seven campaign checks from Trump since 1989, most recently in 2003.
Sen. Bernard Sanders, an independent running for the Democratic nomination, has never received a contribution from Trump.