August 7th, 2008
08:15 PM ET
14 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. seanm

    McCain getting illegal way...Keating Five ring a bell? John McCain long ago sold his soul to the devil for power. Of course all of his buddies in the media will never mention any of this...

    August 7, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  2. Tennisguypitt

    That's not all that is questionable...

    Obama '08

    August 7, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  3. Remy

    Americans are refusing to give money to Mccain. That is why they run for foreign money. Now he try to fool the American voters that he dont accept money from FOREIGNERS. What about the donations from Jews from Israel? Is that acceptable?

    August 7, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  4. OH Yea !!

    HUM!! tThey had to give it up !!!

    August 7, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  5. Jean

    The PROUD AMERICAN takink money from a foriegn citizen, not him.

    What is a "foreign citizen"???

    August 7, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  6. al/Alabama

    Any connection with oil?

    August 7, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  7. Marc PDX

    LOL! The Barackiddies are all worried about McCain. Meanwhile they don't seem to have realized it yet but they are in the process of being outflanked by the Clintons! Hillary is going to call for her delegates to be counted – including ALL of them (not half of them) from Florida and Michigan (which Obama foolishly agreed to earlier this week). AND the Clintons are busy flipping enough super-delegates right now to pull the nomination away from Obama at the Democratic Convention. Just watch – we've never seen a comeback story like this before but that's what the Clinton's are doing as we speak. Obama is too weak to hold on against the Clintons and the super-delegates are realizing it as McCain is pacing him in the polls. This will be an historic Democratic National Convention. How can I get tickets to that stadium?

    August 8, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  8. Give It Up !!!

    McCain camp returning about $50,000 in contributions believed to be brought in by a foreign citizen. Give It UP Proably MORE than $50,000

    August 8, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  9. K of TX


    Republicans and questionable campaign donations and practices go hand and hand....

    Obama '08

    August 8, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  10. Brad - California

    Oh my goodness, what a shock. I wonder why someone named Mustafa Abu Naba’a would be sneaking money into the McCain campaign. Poor John, he could have used it if only no one knew! But I'msure there's a good deal of quiet money flowing from oil into John's campaign.

    August 8, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  11. Sammy

    Where are the Fox folks? Can you believe that a top Mccain supporter and fundraiser will have a Muslim for a friend?

    August 8, 2008 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  12. the ends will never justify the means

    How about returning the Exxon Money given to your campaign?

    That way I might believe your not carrying water for mega oil enablers who have no interest in alternate energy options, but rather to continue the addiction.

    August 8, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  13. 17 year old future politician

    Boat loads of lobbyists and illegal donations don't go together do they??? I mean this just happened to happen right??? When you base your campaign off of government and other companies money, and not from the American people, thing like this happen huh???

    August 8, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  14. Anonymous

    How did you accept the money in the first place? You better explain this please.

    August 8, 2008 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  15. Anonymous

    We need more explanation

    August 8, 2008 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  16. Bill

    How about we ALL start cutting both McCain and Obama some slack and give them the benefit of the doubt. I truly believe both of them are honorable men who are trying to do the right thing in a VERY complex set of circumstances. How about we look for the GOOD behavior from each of the candidates and vote for which one we think would be best rather than strictly cynically dissect the actions of the "other guy" and blog until the cows come home??

    August 8, 2008 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  17. William Raymond

    Why doesn't the media talk about McCain's Islamic connections? And the fact that McCain is getting money from a foreigner is probably because he himself was not born in the United States of America.

    I used to support the old John McCain, but now I will vote for anyone except John McCain, even if it means voting for a democrat.

    August 8, 2008 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  18. Mickey

    Uh oh. Abu naba? Does this mean the Arabs support McCain.does this mean McCain is an anti Israel secret Muslim? Does it Mr. Hannity? Mr. Limbaugh? I'm so sick of the double standard.

    August 8, 2008 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
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