Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Trump inaugural attracts record $107 million in donations

Trump inaugural attracts record $107 million in donations

US President Donald Trump raised twice as much money for his inauguration festivities as any previous president-elect in history, pulling in tens of millions of dollars from wealthy donors and large corporations eager to woo the nation's new chief executive in the days after his unexpected victory.

MI donors contributed almost $2 million to President Donald Trump's inauguration in January, including significant sums from corporate giants such as Dow Chemical Co., Quicken Loans and General Motors Co.

After giving $5 million, Las Vegas gaming billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his wife had prime seats for Trump's swearing-in ceremony on January 20. 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. Phil Ruffin, owner of Treasure Island Hotel & Casino (also known as TI) on the Las Vegas Strip, who is a close friend of President Trump, contributed $1 million.

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

As part of winding down the inaugural committee, the organization said it plans to identify charities that will receive donations from excess money in its account.

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Since then, the number of ISIS fighters has dropped to between 600 and 700 from up to 3,000, according to USA officials. Last year, B-52 bombers operating out of Qatar flew at least two missions in Afghanistan for the first time since 2006.

Trump publicly criticized both Boeing and Lockheed Martin before his inauguration. 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.

Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer infamously - and incorrectly - claimed at his first White House briefing that Trump's crowd was "the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period".

Casino mogul Steve Wynn donated entertainers and production work valued at $729,000 for the Chairman's Ball, where the band Alabama and Wynn's ShowStoppers performed, according to Wynn spokesman Michael Weaver.

The $7.25 million donated to the inauguration by National Football League franchise owners represented about 6.7 percent of all money contributed to the inaugural committee. Trump's inaugural committee is due to file information about those donors with the Federal Election Commission and said it would do so on Tuesday, April 18. For his second, he raised the limit to $1 million and allowed corporate contributions. Kerrigan said the inaugural events may have served as an opportunity for donors to try to curry favor with the incoming president. He loosened those restrictions in 2013 after a bruising campaign, accepting corporate gifts up to US$1 million and individual gifts up to US$250,000. 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.

There are no federal limits on how much they can give. Obama limited contributions to $50,000 in 2009 but lifted that cap four years later.

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