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News Worms


Billionaires, companies power Trump's record inaugural haul

Billionaires, companies power Trump's record inaugural haul

According to a Federal Election Commission filing submitted on Tuesday, President Donald Trump's inaugural committee raked in a record 106.7 million dollars from a range of donors, including a number of major corporations.

The January ceremony included dozens of events over a six-day period.

The committee said it hosted more than 20 events during the inaugural festivities, including a free concert near the Lincoln Memorial and two inaugural balls. However, they do not reveal how Trump's inaugural committee spent the money or if any was left over.

Trump's inaugural team failed to attract the kind of A-list - and pricey - performers who turned out in force for Obama. The Armed Services Ball was free.

"The amount of funds raised for the inaugural celebration allowed the President to give the American people, those both at home and visiting Washington, a chance to experience the incredible moment in our democracy where we witness the peaceful transition of power, a cornerstone of American democracy", the committee's chairman, Tom Barrack, said in a statement. She and her husband Joe backed Trump after initially contributing nearly $6 million to a super PAC trying to derail his nomination.

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

The previous high was $53 million for President Barack Obama's first inauguration in 2009. Much of that money was distributed in May 2016, after The Washington Post pressed him about whether he had followed through on his promise. Kerrigan said the inaugural events may have served as an opportunity for donors to try to curry favor with the incoming president.

Bank of America, Charles Schwab, Forrest and Lutnick did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Their release promised more details about charitable giving at a later date, "when the organization's books are fully closed".

President Donald Trump delivers his inaugural address after being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States during the 58th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on January 20, 2017. Obama took corporate donations in 2013 for his second inaugural.

President George W. Bush, for example, capped gifts at US$100,000 in 2001 and at US$250,000 in 2005.

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The hefty donations will likely raise questions about Trump perceivably being beholden to his donors.

While presidents face fewer restrictions in their inaugural spending than they do for their campaigns, Trump's two predecessors applied more limits than Trump himself.

Trump's $107 million fundraising total is "an bad lot of money - it's roughly what we spent on two", said Steve Kerrigan, who was CEO for Obama's inaugural committee in 2013 and chief of staff in 2009.

Sheldon Adelson attending the fourth Annual Champions Of Jewish Values International Awards Gala in New York City, May 5, 2016.

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