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. Paul

    WHY am i not surprised.......??

    August 7, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. R.I.F.

    "He's like a worse copy than Bush," Mr. Makhlouf said of Mr. McCain.

    Funniest line ever. Even funnier is that this is a direct quote from one of the donors in the scandal.

    August 7, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  3. Dennise

    AWW how cute, he just wants to look like he's different then his colleauges when he's like the rest of them.

    August 7, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  4. jAYjAY

    uncle sam:
    a whole lot if the media would ever focus on it

    August 7, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  5. Reggie, Germany

    What about the husband and wife team in Queens N.Y. who donated what amounts to their yearly income ($57,000) to McCain???

    The wife is a low level Oil employee and the husband a municiple worker

    I smell more than just one rat

    August 7, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  6. TX

    McCain does not care if his money comes from big oil with filthy jokes about women. I'm sure it don't bother him about any other donations.
    He will not return it regardless.
    Bush can always help him to raise more! Mcsame!!

    August 7, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  7. karen-phoenix

    Check all the "off shore" accounts!!! McCain is a crooked as a day is long!!!

    August 7, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  8. Adam

    Glad to see the "campaign finance reform" champion is practicing what he preaches. All aboard the double talk express!!!!

    August 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  9. Ian

    It would probably be quicker if he sorted out the legal donations. ; )

    August 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. L

    Let him keep his money, he is only using it for comic relief anyway... tire gauges, Hilton and Spears, etc.

    He's not campaigning, he's making jokes, which I find disgusting considering the energy crisis, economic crisis, housing crisis, health care problems, etc. It's an outrage, not funny at all.

    August 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  11. bridgette

    WOW!!!!!!!! He is not even in office yet and already has some mess like this. This is just becoming a mess. First never getting facts right, second the two silly commercials, and now this. What's next.

    August 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  12. Joseph in PA

    For someone who was so committed to campaign finance reform, Sen. McCain certainly seems to have more than his fair share of questionable fund raising and legal campaign issues.

    But then again, he has greatly disappointed me on most fronts turning his back on his independent streak to win the nomination. Taking the low road attacking his opponent with "celebrity" ads rather than telling us why he is the better candidate and what he will do DIFFERENT from President Bush.

    He may not be "willing to lose a war to win and election" but he seems perfectly willing to sell out his integrity to do so!

    August 7, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  13. dona

    Let's give McCain the news coverage he has been wanting. We can start with this one. The media will probably think it is "not news" since we all knew this all along. McBush is as corupt as they come!!!!

    August 7, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  14. sherry for Obama

    Why all the honesty now?
    Once a crook always a crook

    August 7, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  15. hansen

    This has got to be the least questionable about McCain's campaign!

    Also, aren't permanent residents allowed to contribute? They are foreign nationals.

    August 7, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  16. Cathy

    I bet if they dug deeper they would reveal tons of questionable stuff going on!

    August 7, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  17. Travis

    Let me guess McWar's response......GEEZ I DIDN'T KNOW

    His solution.....come on guys let's get this swept under the rug

    August 7, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  18. PW, CA

    Yeah, no kidding 🙂 McCain and questionable are redundant, no?

    August 7, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  19. Montana is Obama Country

    look into it.. right.... I don't think soo.!

    August 7, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  20. Sten, CA

    I don't believe him, I am becoming an independent. The republicans have been lying for the past 8 years. We need a change.

    August 7, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  21. Jo Ann

    I think the big oil companies is the real questionable donation but is he looking into that, no he still racking it in.

    August 7, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  22. California Gold

    McCain far removed from illegal campaign donations? Nah! It must be a mental donation imagination.

    August 7, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  23. wanda a.


    August 7, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  24. AML31

    Are we suprised.? Bush08 iis not what we need. McCain is a soulless vessel for the Bush legacy.

    August 7, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  25. Foreign Observer

    The most "questionable" donations are the millions of dollars that poured in from the oil industry after McCain pushed for offshore drilling.

    August 7, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
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