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. JB

    Straight talk, my butt!

    Don't forget Cindy McCains investments in companies that are taking American jobs away!

    August 7, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  2. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    McCain is questionable himself and it has become very obvious as to why Bush didn't make him his VP and now he wants to the president! Please give me a break, McCain is not what our country needs.

    August 7, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |

    Let the games begin! He's already accepting illegal funds. It's a preview of what's to come!

    OBAMA '08

    August 7, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  4. tamera

    Surely the so called "Maverick", would not take hundreds of thousands of dollars for his campaign from a foreigner. Sounds like McCain is a Clone of Bush..............

    August 7, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  5. michael, Gladstone, MO

    Now, McCain did read that law that bears his name, right?

    While I don't think it is the senator's fault that the donations were allegedly done the way they were reported, once his camp looks into it they should immediately take action. Early reports said that the amounts from some donors were grossly in excess of limits. This kind of thing could have a huge impact on McCain's campaign and reputation in particular.

    August 7, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  6. Peter E

    Just wait and see a week when Obama announces he's following suit... and then his supporter's spin on it declaring Obama a 'visionary' Isn't it time Obama returned the $400,000 he got from oil companies, since he seems to hate them so much?

    August 7, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  7. Peter E

    Well, at least McCain is willing to review his own campaign. Obama only reviews McCain's campaign, and then behind closed doors still continue to accept money from 'state' lobbyists and oil companies who just happen to have multi-million lobbying business in Washington...

    August 7, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  8. jOhN McCain


    My friends.... We need in a surge in Drilling !!!

    The Oil company executives have so far contributed $2 million to my campaign.
    I recently told them, that if their donations to my campaign reach $100 Million .......and I become President.... I'll sign an Executive Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP & Chevron permission to Drill at the Rose Garden, the Capitol, the Pentagon, Disney-Land, and any other location of their choice.

    That, my friends….. is how we get out of the energy crisis.

    I'm John McSurge, and I approved this message

    August 7, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  9. McCain:SmallWeakCowardlyMan OffersMoreOfTheSame TearsOthersDownToBuildHimselfUp

    Maybe they should review the questionable candidate and all his dirty, backdoor dealings, his wife's overseas investments, his lobbyist (campaign manager's and staff's) ties to foreign dictators and warlords. Need I go on?

    August 7, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  10. jfs Memhis, Tn

    Here we go...................hope the news will follow through on this one and not ignore the story

    August 7, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  11. Mike in MN

    With the way Obama is against drilling offshore, I would not be supprised if he is getting money secretly from big Arab oil.

    He does not want America to produce more of our own oil. He says McCain is in the pockets of US big oil because he supports offhore drilling. He wants us to keep buying foreign oil instead of producing more of our own. Would rather give we give our money to big Arab oil instead of big US oil. Anyone wonder about this? Wonder how he is taking in so much more money than Hillary and McCain form supposdly just small doners. But barley beat Hillary in the primary and has just a 2% lead over McCain in the polls. It would take a tremendous amount of small donations to account for the difference in money. Where is the support in the votes?

    August 7, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  12. Mark Webb

    In that case, McSame would rejects most of his supporters, and from the RNC!!!
    What's an HYPOCRITE!!!!!!

    August 7, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  13. Gerry in Virginia

    WWooooooPPPPsss... The OLD BUCKAROO is now going to tell us that he didn't know Mr Sargeants donors ( he's called a bundler folks) thats some one who collects money from people who don't want to be identified with a candidate OR are of questionable origin birth place or citizenship but want to influence our politics... According to Mr. Sargeant he has "a lot of Arab business partners and does a lot of business in the middle east" . Now I just wonder WHO is taking money from foreign sources. Could it possibly be that old Senator from Arizona who wants to be President of the United States of Arabia OOOPPPPs again.... America? NNNAAAAAHHHH!!!! MC BUSH WOULDN'T DO THAT NOW WOULD HE.....

    August 7, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  14. Charlotte

    Obama needs to do the same.

    August 7, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  15. bill for barack

    Will he be done in time for the November election ?
    The only major contributors to McBushie are members of the criminal element.
    See how they bow down to a member of the Keating Five.

    August 7, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  16. Rob

    Uh huh, watch this one closely folks. These are the donations made by low level employees of 'Hess Oil' where they made Fifty Thousand Dollar donations out of the goodness of there hearts. Donations in excess of their salaries. Stinks like rotten McFish.

    August 7, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  17. BUSHED!!!

    Questionable donations....They already know ....somebody gave them
    a heads up they are trying to pretend to be innocent

    August 7, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  18. Peter E

    It's considerably more vigilant than the Obama 'I'm only taking donations from state lobbyists, not federal ones' campaign is doing...

    August 7, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  19. Deidre, Birmingham

    What about the secretary (who makes $61k annuallyworking at the oil firm) who made her and her husband's first political donation ever – $2600 to McCain and a whopping $57,000 to the RNC. Her boss made the same donation the same day. The next week McCain switched his position on offshore drilling. Suspicious much?!!

    If you think offshore drilling is going to help anyone except the oil companies, you are fool who does not understand the world market.

    August 7, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  20. dreamweaver

    While they are at it they should check out McCains son too. Keating five ring any bells????

    August 7, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  21. Beverly, NYC

    Hope you have to give back a lot. Anything to stop your stupid TV ads.

    August 7, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  22. yala

    the counsel of ahitofa is upon you

    August 7, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  23. SF

    CNN LET ME PLAY ......They already Know !!!

    August 7, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  24. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    If donations don't come from the U.S. return it.

    How many asians...particularly Indians–have donated to the DNC? You know they are lining up to be the call center country of choice–for our new national health plan.

    August 7, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  25. Tammy - KCMO

    Pretty funny stuff considering how many times the Republicans have spread those rumors about Obama's online campaign raising.

    Guess what goes around does come around.

    August 7, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
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