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Donald Trump

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Donald Trump

Donald Trump is a billionaire real estate developer and the chair and president of the Trump Organization, a privately held limited liability company that engages in sales, marketing, real estate development, property management and other activities.[1] Trump owns properties including 40 Wall Street and Trump Tower in New York City and the Doral golf resort in Miami.[2] Trump is an outspoken Republican figure and donor and repeatedly expressed interest in running for President[3] before declaring his candidacy in June 2015 for the Republican nomination in the 2016 election cycle.[4] He is also known for television appearances on Fox News and on the NBC reality show "The Apprentice,"[2] and has been described as a "provocateur" by The Washington Post for his frequent outrageous statements, including repeated questioning of President Barack Obama's citizenship.[5]

Trump has been a major donor to both Republican and Democratic candidates and causes.[6] In 2014 he was revealed to have made a previously unknown $15,000 contribution during the 2011-2012 Wisconsin recall elections to Wisconsin Club for Growth, which is a target of a long-running investigation into potentially illegal campaign coordination with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's electoral campaign.[7]

Trump's net worth was $4.1 billion in May 2015, according to a Forbes estimate,[2] though Trump himself claimed a net worth of $8.7 billion in June 2015.[4]

Political Activity

Trump has been a donor to Republican candidates and groups, though statements by his staff may at times have overstated the size of his contributions, according to a review by the Center for Responsive Politics.[8] Trump was "a prolific donor to both Democrats and Republicans" from 1990 to 2011 according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which found that about half of the individual candidates who received contributions from Trump were Democrats, and that Trump contributed to both Republican and Democratic party committees and PACs.[6] Trump frequently appears as a speaker at right-wing events including the Conservative Political Action Conference[9][10] the South Carolina Freedom Summit[11] and Iowa Freedom summit,[12] and the Faith and Freedom Coalition, among many others.

Trump has also repeatedly floated the idea of becoming a presidential candidate himself.[3] In March 2015, he formed an exploratory committee for a possible 2016 presidential run,[13] then officially announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination in June 2015.[4]

Disclosed Contributions

Trump has reported several hundred contributions to various political candidates, parties, and PACs since 1989,[14] totaling at least $995,240.[15]

2014 Contributions

Trump reported contributions to several dozen individual candidates and to PACs and party committees in 2014. Contributions of $2,500 or more included:[14][16]

  • Florida Republican Party: $100,000
  • Republican National Committee: $64,800
  • Kentuckians for Strong Leadership: $50,000
  • National Republican Senatorial Committee: $32,400
  • John Bolton Super PAC: $5,000
  • Terry Branstad and Kim Reynolds: $25,000
  • Greg Abbott: $25,000
  • Friends of Cahill: $20,000
  • Scott K. Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch: $10,000
  • Kamala Harris: $6,000
  • McConnell Senate Committee: $5,200
  • Nikki Haley: $3,500
  • Comstock for Congress: $3,000
  • King for Congress: $3,000
  • Peter King for Congress: $2,600
  • John Cornyn Campaign Committee: $2,500
  • Michael Benedetto: $2,500

Funding for Dark Money Groups

Kentuckians for Strong Leadership

A Super PAC called Kentuckians for Strong Leadership ran ads attacking Democrat Alison Grimes, who was running against Sen. Mitch McConnell in the 2014 election cycle, turned out to be almost entirely funded by out-of-state donors, including Trump, who contributed $50,000. Many of the group's funders had connections to Karl Rove and American Crossroads, including the organization's listed contact, who also served as treasurer for American Crossroads, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.[17]

Ties to Scott Walker and Wisconsin Club for Growth

Summary of supporting exhibits from case documents filed August 22, 2014.

Trump made an undisclosed contribution of $15,000 in April 2012 to Wisconsin Club for Growth (WiCFG), a Wisconsin-based organization that spent at least $9.1 million during the recall elections, and funneled at least $10 million more to other politically-active groups like Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, while reporting that it spent $0 on politics to the IRS.[18] The contribution only became public in August 2014, when documents related to a "John Doe" investigation into potentially illegal campaign coordination between Walker's campaign, WiCFG, WMC, and possibly other groups were briefly unsealed. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the documents suggest that Walker was advised to personally solicit funds from wealthy contributors for WiCFG:

"The records include example after example of Walker or his aides encouraging donors to give money to the Wisconsin Club for Growth.
"In September 2011, Doner sent an email to Walker and others with brainstorming ideas for raising money for the Wisconsin Club for Growth. Among them: "Take Koch's money," "Get on a plane to Vegas and sit down with Sheldon Adelson," and "Go heavy after (corporations) to give."
"The documents also show the club received large checks from donors soon after Walker was advised to solicit funds from them for the group. Those included $250,000 from hedge fund CEO Paul Singer, $100,000 from manufacturer Maclean-Fogg Co., $50,000 donation from Atlanticus Holdings CEO David Hanna's trust, $50,000 from hedge fund chairman Bruce Kovner, $50,000 from natural gas and oil producer Devon Energy, $15,000 from Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone and $15,000 from Trump" (emphasis added).[7]

Case documents filed by the prosecutors include the following supporting exhibits related to Trump:

[Id. at ¶ 61; Exhibits 53, 55] A March 30, 2012 email that indicates Scott Walker was meeting with Donald Trump. WiCFG bank records reflect a $15,000 contribution from Donald Trump on April 3, 2012.

Trump also reported a $10,000 contribution to Walker's campaign in 2014.[19]

For more information, see the pages Scott Walker, Wisconsin Club for Growth, Scott Walker John Doe Documents, and The Campaign to Legalize Coordination in Wisconsin and Nationwide.

Affiliations

As of May 2015:[20]

  • Trump Organization, Chair and President. Trump properties include Trump Tower, Trump Center, Trump Hotel Collection, Trump International Hotel & Tower/Chicago, 555 California Street Tower (Bank of America building)/San Francisco, Trump National Golf Club, and many other properties.
  • Part-Owner with NBC of broadcasting rights to Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA pageants
  • NBC's "The Apprentice," Producer and Performer
  • Trump Productions LLC, Production Company
  • The Wharton School Real Estate Center, Founding Member
  • Donald J. Trump Foundation, Chair
  • New York Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Fund, Co-Chair
  • Historical Society of Palm Beach County, Benefactors Board of Directors
  • Committee to Complete Construction of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Founding Member

References

  1. Bloomberg Business, "The Trump Organization," company profile, accessed May 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Forbes, "Donald Trump," World's Billionaires profile, accessed May 2015.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Jake Miller, "Is Donald Trump serious about running for president?," CBS News, April 30, 2015.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Jeremy Diamond, "Donald Trump jumps in: The Donald's latest White House run is officially on ," CNN, June 16, 2015.
  5. Robert Costa, "Trump says he is serious about 2016 bid, is hiring staff and delaying TV gig," The Washington Post, February 25, 2015.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Zachary Newkirk, "Donald Trump’s Donations to Democrats, Club for Growth’s Busy Day and More in Capital Eye Opener: February 17," Open Secrets blog, February 17, 2011.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Patrick Marley, Daniel Bice, and Lee Bergquist, "Walker wanted funds funneled to Wisconsin Club for Growth," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 22, 2014.
  8. Russ Choma, "Trump Fails To Put His Money Where His Mouth Is," Open Secrets blog, September 6, 2012.
  9. James Oliphant, "CPAC: Donald Trump says he's considering 2012 presidential run," L.A. Times, February 10, 2011.
  10. Jose A. DelReal, "About that Donald Trump speech at CPAC...," The Washington Post, February 27, 2015.
  11. Donald Trump, "South Carolina Freedom Summit," speech, May 19, 2015. Archived by C-Span, accessed May 2015.
  12. Steve Holland, "An Iowa Crowd Had A Surprising Reaction When Donald Trump Bashed Mitt Romney And Jeb Bush," Reuters, January 24, 2015.
  13. "Donald Trump takes formal steps toward 2016 presidential run," Reuters, March 18, 2015.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Center for Responsive Politics, "Donald Trump contributions," Open Secrets database, accessed May 2015.
  15. National Institute for Money in State Politics, "Donald Trump contributions," Follow the Money database, accessed May 2015.
  16. National Institute for Money in State Politics, "[{1|gro=f-eid Donald Trump contributions (2014)," Follow the Money database, accessed May 2015.
  17. Russ Choma, "Outside Groups in Kentucky Senate Race Fueled by Out-of-State Money," Open Secrets blog, August 1, 2013.
  18. Brendan Fischer, GOP Prosecutor Defends Scott Walker Criminal Probe, Says "Let's Get the Truth Out", PR Watch, May 1, 2015.
  19. Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, "Trump contributions to Walker," campaign finance database, accessed May 2015.
  20. Trump Organization, "Donald J. Trump," organizational biography, accessed May 2015.