Intrigue surrounds Trump's campaign contributions
April 25th, 2011
05:16 PM ET
7 years ago

Intrigue surrounds Trump's campaign contributions

Washington (CNN) - Shortly before announcing interest in pursuing the GOP presidential bid, Republican Donald Trump gave $50,000, his largest campaign contribution in Illinois, to Democrat Rahm Emanuel, who was running for mayor, in December 2010.

The connection?

Rahm's brother Ari, who is co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, represents a majority of Hollywood's celebrity elite, including Trump.

Ari has been Trump's agent for many years, according to one of the mogul's top aides, Michael Cohen.

Records from the Illinois State Board of Elections show that Trump has made various sizable donations to Democratic causes in Illinois.

Records show that Trump contributed $12,500 to the Cook County Democratic Party between 2005 and 2007. He also lent support to his fellow Republicans in Illinois campaigns.

The reality show star gave $5,000 in 2002 to then-gubernatorial candidate Rod Blagojevich and another $2,000 in 2007 for his re-election campaign.

Blagojevich was a cast member on the third season of "Celebrity Apprentice," and "fired" after the fourth episode.

Trump gave $5,000 to Republican Gov. George Ryan during the 1998 election and another $5,000 to Ryan in 2001.

Ryan has been in federal prison since 2007 on a corruption conviction. Blagojevich, who was impeached, is being retried in federal court on felony charges.

Trump's camp said his campaign donations have less to do with politics and more about being a loyal friend to political fund-raising pals such as Woody Johnson, a philanthropist and owner of the New York Jets who courted Trump's financial support for the McCain-Palin ticket during the 2008 presidential election.

"If your friend asks you to do something, if you are financially capable, you do it," Cohen said.

Trump's presence in the Windy City includes a newly built high-rise of luxury condominiums and hotel in the middle of one of Chicago's most coveted neighborhoods. The shiny, modern glass structure, is the tallest building constructed in the U.S. since the Sears Tower.

Filed under: 2012 • Donald Trump
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    Can this guy go away?

    April 25, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. P.G

    I wish Letterman would bring back "Trump or Monkey?"

    April 25, 2011 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  3. wt

    Dear Donald,
    I'm running for dog catcher. Please send me $50,000. I'll even vote for you if you're the candidate. Thank you!

    April 25, 2011 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  4. So

    In otherwords, the loose cannon with the bad rug on his head is found to have coincided conversion to the uber-rightwing looncamp with the opportunity making big bucks spouting on Fox Jazeera.
    Hardly a shocker. His history of running things into the ground has probably left him in worse shape than we suspected and his ego is every bit as ugly as his morals.

    April 25, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  5. So

    You'd think with all that money he wasted over the years running failed businesses, filing bankruptcy and buying wives, that at some point he'd have managed to fit in a facelift. Even for a Republican this guy is hard on the eyes.

    April 25, 2011 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  6. Politicians are Angels and Teachers are now Devils according to the gospel of GOP Tea Party

    For me to comment about Trump is really beneath me!

    I dont think this dufus Trump has an ounce of intelligence to begin with...but it's America stupid, really???

    Are we really talking about Trump for president???!

    April 25, 2011 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  7. T'sah from Virginia

    Dear Donald,
    I'm "running" out of money to remodel my home. Please send me $50,000 and I will vote for you too (in the primary) – $100,000 will give you my vote in the general!!!
    Thank You!

    TRUMPet will continue to blow "off-key" because he is OUT OF TUNE to reality and the life I live!!!

    April 25, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  8. bill

    I guess you have to bribe both sides of the aisle to get anything accomplished. I can't even get a 12×12 foot shed built on my property without paying our local Indian tribe to bless it.

    April 25, 2011 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  9. GOP is toast

    Trump never was a viable candidate. His crazy-speak was so far out there and his background so questionable, that we all knew he was in it for personal gain. But then again, it goes to show how crazy the Republican party has become – that they made him their number one candidate. Embarrassing for them is such a big way.

    April 25, 2011 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  10. New Age Independant

    Trump may be worth a listen. If liberals hate him so much he must have something going for him.

    April 25, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  11. P'Tootie

    Trump represents everything that's wrong with our government!

    April 25, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  12. The Acqua

    He was giving out donations to DEMOCRATS, because Democrats will only do business or grant you a city permit if you donate to their campaign. It is for business purposes and favors. This acticle does not fool many conservatives, nice try tho...

    April 25, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  13. S. In California - Obama 2012

    I refuse to get caught up in Trump's nonsense. He's NOT running and I'm NOT buying into this anymore.
    Have a good evening.

    April 25, 2011 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  14. Nellie Bly

    I'm telling you , Trump is a secretive operative for the Democratic party. They just forgot to give him a script.

    April 25, 2011 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  15. rusty155

    Donald Trump doesn't know If he a Democrats or a Republican, this guy Is a true Flip flop type of person. He did learn one thing from Republican , he LIE like they do.

    April 25, 2011 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  16. Ed

    @ acqua, you need to lay off the drugs, lol, they make u sound stupid when u talk. In ur case when u try to think and type at the sametime.

    April 25, 2011 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  17. Joe

    RE: The Acqua

    yea... cause republicans never scheme people out of money right? i believe George Ryan, the ex governor of Illinois, is in jail now for personally enriching himself while in office... oh and wait... that's right.... HE'S A REPUBLICAN... there are crappy people on both sides. Don't be so naive.

    April 25, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  18. rusty155

    Hey Donald Trump watch CNN at 7:00pm (ET) you may learn something you IDIOT.

    April 25, 2011 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  19. Republican Robber Baron

    Nice try Acqua! It is a shame you don't know how to read the article first though and would rather just invent your own facts like Fox News and Jon Kyl does.

    April 25, 2011 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  20. Steve Jackson

    People worried about Trump donation to different people look at the big money the oil company gives and you don't say anything about that WHY

    April 25, 2011 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  21. LMarcT

    I see there are still a few Donald supporters here... "the article didn't fool many conservatives, nice try tho..." What a laugh. You seriously believe the author of this article was out to fool you? You? "The Donald" supporters? Wow.

    April 25, 2011 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  22. dem 4 life

    what a fat fraud!

    April 25, 2011 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  23. Mike Hawthorne

    So... Trump gives money to "friends" but politics don't matter. Yet he wants to be president and "clean up Washington." Sounds like the professional lobbyists and special interest groups would be salivating all over themselves at a Trump nomination.

    April 25, 2011 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  24. flatbroke

    "If your friend asks you to do something, if you are financially capable, you do it," Cohen said. He don't need no stinkin' scruples, added the Trumpster's minion.

    April 25, 2011 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  25. westernviews

    Trump is the P. T. Barnum of our era-no more , no less.

    April 25, 2011 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
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