The Donald Trump inauguration was brought to citizens by corporate America, billionaires, CEO’s, and lobbyists. He hauled in a grand total of $107 million, while President Barack Obama raised only $53 million for his most expensive inauguration.
So, who were these fat cats?
The FEC [Federal Election Commission] released the 510-page record, according to the New York Times. It showed 45 took in “more than two dozen million-dollar checks.”
Billionaire casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson gave Trump $5 million for the most expensive party in Republican history, according to the New York Times. As such, Adelson’s gift was the largest ever from a lone donor. Billionaire investors Charles Schwab and Steven Cohen, GoDaddy’s Robert Parson, and the owner of the New England Patriots Robert Kraft, also handed over million-dollar checks.
Wall Street Journal‘s Rebecca Ballhaus tweeted that one of the million-dollar donors was Russian-American businessman Alexander Shustorovich. But in 2000, the RNC refused Shustorovich’s money.
— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) April 19, 2017
Contributors were well rewarded for their donations in what sounded like the world’s largest advertisement. Top donors received exclusive access at private dinners during the week prior to the inauguration. There, they rubbed elbows with the Trump campaign insiders and Trump himself.
Not only that, but these people bought their way into inaugural balls and even the actual swearing-in ceremony — nice perks for their $1 million ticket. They could even hang at Trump’s new Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.
As for the top door prize, well that went to the Adelsons. The couple had some of the best seats on the inaugural platform for the new president’s swearing-in ceremony.
All this seems rather ironic, given the fact Trump famously promised he would “drain the swamp” during throughout his presidential campaign. People assumed he would rid the capitol of corruption, tainted power, and money for access. Apparently, that’s not what he meant.
For past inaugurations, the government limited donations to $250,000. President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama capped donations, but 45 got rid of the cap.
The president’s inaugural committee said that it would donate leftover funds to charity, but it still had not decided which ones.
Check out this video of Donald and Melania Trump’s first dance at the Inaugural Ball below, via YouTube:
Featured Image: Getty Images.