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. Sylvia

    Problem with McCain contributors????? Why is everyone so surprised.....He'll do anything to get elected, no matter how dishonest.

    August 7, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  2. True Blue

    McCain is getting such a free ride.

    This guy dumped his first wife after she gained weight from car wreck injuries and wears 500 dollar shoes....

    if this were Obama, people would be screaming about it over and over.

    August 7, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  3. marty from Indiana

    If you believe that I have some swamp land in Florida I'd like to sell you. He will use the money and run "cut and burn" ads against Obama. McCain is shameless.

    August 7, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  4. Rob, from Canada

    Don't worry, John McCain doesn't care about illegal immigrants coming into the country, that's why he support the legislation with Ted Kennedy to give them amnesty.

    This does nothing to change the image Republicans should have if they were fully informed about their candidate.

    Wait they probably aren't fully informed?

    August 7, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  5. Boston For OBAMA

    Will we ever get the truth regarding McCain and his "donors"...NOT

    August 7, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  6. stephanie

    all of it is a scam if u ask me .. look at his party, name one who is not particpating in illegal activities. The whole party is just a bunch of crooks

    Vote for Change!!!
    Go Obama

    August 7, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  7. Brenda

    Not a surprise from a republicain. They are all corrupts

    August 7, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  8. takeoffthehoods

    McCain is in deep with taking thousand from folks he rather not having us know about.

    who cares....he won't win!. he's a dirty old man! and totaly senile

    August 7, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  9. susie

    Someone should look into Obama's questionable donations, too.

    August 7, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  10. Joel

    Clearly there are crooks in the background supporting the McCain campaign.

    John McCain is confused, showing signs of dementia and is mindlessly spouting dirty politics talking points from corrupt Republicans. Another four years of Bush would totally destroy our country and this is what the American people would get with McCain. For the sake of our country, we must make sure that Barack Obama is elected President.

    August 7, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  11. GERRY


    August 7, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  12. Matt from NYC

    surprise surprise.

    August 7, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  13. Pat Riot

    Uncle Sam, maybe you don't know the history behind your name. You're not an American mascot. You're a creation of the state, a symbol for big government, a reminder of the military draft. Yet here you are criticizing a war hero and civil servant. Obama has twisted your mind.

    August 7, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  14. LLMTruth

    Now all of a sudden, McBrainless wants an internal investigation into this Sargeant's illegal contributions. It seems it took Federal intervention before McBrainless realized that there was any impropriety in those contirbutions. I wonder if there weren't any questions into any illegalities, would McBrainless even say anything at all?

    It just points to the fact that the republican's candidate has no character nor integrity. Voting for this man would be an absolute waste of energy. Why don't people just vote Dubya in for a third term and be done with it?

    August 7, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  15. Mike in MN

    Looks like McCain is taking the high road on this. Deifintly a man of integrity.

    August 7, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  16. maggymay

    It is my sincere hope that this will be thoroughly investigated by the press now! McCain has gotten away with so much so far in this election season. Ignore this, and it will be obvious that CNN and MSNBC in addition to NBC, ABC, and CBS are all in the tank for McCain. He is playing fast and loose with the truth, so this is not surprising. We wil be watching!

    August 7, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  17. Denise Groves

    Gotta ya! Been caught! This should be blared from here to Timbuktu! If it were Obama, it would be blasted from sea to shining sea!

    August 7, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  18. PG

    Wow what a shock!

    August 7, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  19. What if?

    "will be looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations brought in by Florida businessman Harry Sargeant"............ but not RETURNING IT since the money is questionable..........Same old politics, McCain....

    August 7, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  20. MaryanneAZ

    We need campaign finance oversight! Where is the FEC on this? Will the MSM report on it? Not holding my breath on either of them. Obama '08 - a fair and scrupulous man for President. Yes WE Can!!!

    August 7, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  21. Patrick

    Forget the donations i want them to review his questionable Sanity..

    August 7, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  22. Former republican white man from california for Obama

    What Mc Cain taken in donations from non US citizens say it ain't so! This radical right wing has totally ruined our republican party!!!

    August 7, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  23. Chuck, Montgomery, AL

    McSleaze questioning donors? HA – Keaton 5 comes to mind – drugs missing from charitable organizations comes to mind –

    Oh – how did the Buffalo Chip contest come out?

    August 7, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  24. Jeff Brown

    Review? Bet they don't give back one filthy dime!!!!!

    August 7, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  25. Xavier

    McCain himself is questionable. He is a sell out.

    August 7, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
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