August 7th, 2008
08:15 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain campaign to return about $50,000 in donations

WASHINGTON (CNN) – John McCain’s campaign announced Thursday night that it’s returning about $50,000 in contributions believed to be brought in by a foreign citizen.

The actions late Thursday followed a move earlier in the day by the campaign that it would be looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations brought in by Florida businessman Harry Sargeant, after reports that his business partner – Mustafa Abu Naba’a, who is not an American citizen – may have been connected with the fundraising efforts.

Federal campaign finance regulations prohibit donations from foreign nationals, but federal laws do not specify if it is illegal for them to solicit political contributions.

The McCain campaign says Abu Naba’a did not donate the money himself. But McCain spokesman Brian Rogers says, "we're taking the precautionary measure of returning any contributions solicited by Mr. Abu Naba'a. We thought it was an appropriate measure to take at this point, as we had an issue with the reports of people giving to the campaign who had no intention of supporting or voting for John McCain - that was clear from recent reports. We estimate that it totals under $50,000."

The New York Times reported on Thursday that Sargeant allowed Abu Naba’a to solicit the donations in March from a single extended family in California, the Abdullahs, along with their friends.

The McCain campaign is also sending a copy of the legal requirements for donations to all contributors whose funds were brought in through Sargeant.

Earlier this year, during the primary season, Norman Hsu, who was a top fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, was indicted for making contributions in the names of other people.


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (243 Responses)
  1. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Some Maverick!

    August 7, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  2. Republican

    tell him to returned all the monney he has received for the last 27 years he has been in congress... or what, because he is old he can get away with it??,

    August 7, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  3. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Naturally McCain supporters will somehow try to tie this to Obama...

    August 7, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  4. Michelle, PA

    A Florida Republican party official takes thousands of dollars in questionable donations for the Mccain campaign? Just another day, another dollar for the GOP.

    Why haven't we heard more on the questionable Hess contribution? Now there's a story.

    August 7, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  5. Willow, from Iowa

    I won't be surprised. He's trying to compete with a candidate that brings in 50 million a month. He just can't compete monetarily with that, without some questionable donations, esp. oil money. That's McCain's ace in the hole, oil money.

    August 7, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  6. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Lets take a look at those donations from big oil while we're at it.

    August 7, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  7. R.I.F.

    CNN finally decides to talk about this. If this where Obama there would be 24 coverage. I'm sure the media will cover for McCain and forget all about this.

    August 7, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  8. Griff

    And most of OBama's Donations, came from Foreign Oil???

    August 7, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. Obama supporter: Finally the media attention and scrutiny McCain wanted!!

    Why is it always after his hand is caught in the cookie jar? Thank you John McCain for pressing for the same kind of media Obama you claimed Obama was getting!!

    August 7, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  10. sarah

    Please look into this matter. This is awful. McCain has always been linked to shady donors.

    August 7, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  11. edw

    Will be looking at it, counting it, seeing how much they need...

    It's about the oil people. McCain is crooked and does not care about the common American.

    August 7, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  12. biffington, biff

    THIS STORY WAS ON HUFFINGTON POST "TWO DAYS AGO"

    IT IS JUST NOW BEING COMMENTED ON IN THE "MAIN STREAM"

    wow.

    August 7, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  13. Watermann

    Well, well well, for the web and other newsrooms that`s an old story

    August 7, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  14. Ian

    I will say this about McCain...

    At least we find out about these issues from his own camp, unlike Obama where we don't find out about it until the media uncovers it. (At which point his handlers spend 3 days writing a speech for him to explain how it wasn't his fault.)

    August 7, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. Mike - Texas

    No different that when Hillary and Obama went through the same thing.

    August 7, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. Tce

    WAKE UP, AMERICA! HOW DULL ARE YOU? CAN'T YOU SEE THE DECEPTION WITH MCCAIN"S CAMPAIGN? DO YOU WANT TO BE LULLED INTO ANOTHER FOUR YEARS OF MISERY? PUT A STOP TO IT. VOTE OBAMA!!

    August 7, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  17. DR. YES

    like the lobbyists in his campaign will cooperate.hah!

    August 7, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  18. Jamal

    and that's just the tip of the iceberg that is Mccain's back room dealings

    August 7, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  19. Military Man

    McCain has less questionable money/influence in his campaign than Obama does. As long as he's reviewing those donations in order to do the right thing, that's what's really important.

    August 7, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. Matt

    Why doesn't CNN mention the FACT that Obama has received tens of thousands of dollars from members of HAMAS??

    Simply posting an article about McCain reviewing some of his donations is not news, simply CNN planting seeds of conspiracies amongst the loyal Obamaphiles.

    August 7, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  21. Teena

    More of the same McCain at it again.

    August 7, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  22. TN FOR OBAMA

    How did the Republican McSlime machine allow this to get caught....and PUBLISHED ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

    August 7, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  23. seeing the truth

    BOMB BOMB BOMB BOMB... SHELL

    August 7, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  24. pumped4Obama

    Well, well, why am I not surprise?!!! Typical attitude. Thinks the American public is basically stupid like he is. His campaign is going to send copy of the legal requirements??? Oh, yeah, like they didn't know them already. Says it right on the campaign donation page.
    What's the penalty for this?

    August 7, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  25. Adam

    He's getting a SURGE in illegal donations.

    By the way, surge surge.

    August 7, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
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