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. Annette, Washington, DC


    August 7, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  2. KG

    Both sides should review them. I guarantee you that both sides have questionable donations. Obama has them and McCain has them AND they shouldn't be allowed!

    Although I do find it interesting that CNN has chosen to only point out that McCain is reviewing them. Can you be any more more transparent in your partisanship? It's truly laughable. Independent news organization my rear. CNN is (and has been) in the pocket of the liberal Democratic party since it began its first newscast.

    August 7, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  3. lu/nyc

    McCain does not care one way or another.

    August 7, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  4. N

    How come this is being reported but not the 5k+ in donations that Obama got from a pair of Palestinian brothers in Rafah?

    August 7, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  5. Obvious

    If this was Obama it would be "BREAKING NEWS"

    August 7, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  6. Scott L

    Let's see Obama's campaign open up their books! NOT!!!!

    August 7, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  7. Really?

    I guess we will only know the result of that after he is the President.

    August 7, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  8. The Preacher

    This is the same guy who was a part of the Keating Five Savings and Loan Scandle ...what would you expect?

    Charles Keating was convicted of racketeering and fraud in both state and federal court after his Lincoln Savings & Loan collapsed, costing the taxpayers $3.4 billion. His convictions were overturned on technicalities; for example, the federal conviction was overturned because jurors had heard about his state conviction, and his state charges because Judge Lance Ito (yes, that judge) screwed up jury instructions. Neither court cleared him, and he faces new trials in both courts.)

    Though he was not convicted of anything, McCain intervened on behalf of Charles Keating after Keating gave McCain at least $112,00 in contributions. In the mid-1980s, McCain made at least 9 trips on Keating's airplanes, and 3 of those were to Keating's luxurious retreat in the Bahamas. McCain's wife and father-in-law also were the largest investors (at $350,000) in a Keating shopping center; the Phoenix New Times called it a "sweetheart deal."

    August 7, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    mccain is not good for america he talks about energy and he voted against every bill that came to the senate floor,and he calls his wife blue chip what kind of man is this.

    August 7, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  10. In case you didnt know

    The tax cut for the wealthy funded China's growth to American workers detriment. Rather than invest it here they invested in China to build the plants that took away American jobs. Now those same foreign workers who are buying cars are driving up the price of gasoline.

    The tax break was a double wammy for American workers. Not only was the capital used to outsource their jobs but now the oil demands by the low wage employees who tooks those jobs is pushing up fuel prices and creating more misery and unemployment.

    The wealthy tax break is a job eating ebola virus to the American economy. John McCain thinks this is wonderful.

    August 7, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    keating five and now this.

    August 7, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  12. Valerie

    Oh hell, they're all questionable. He's going to review the ones that reporters are working on. He's a 27 year politician who will say and do anything.

    August 7, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  13. biffington, biff

    Funny, CNN.. how you conveniently did not mention that the money is coming from "middle-eastern" non citizens...

    but this comment, like so man more today.. will never see the light of day.

    probably a little too "newsy" for your news organization.

    August 7, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  14. Uncle Sam

    President McCain '08!!!

    August 7, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  15. Sienna, TX

    While they're at it, let them review their questionable candidate who doesn't speak for his own campaign. Also let them review why an old man picks on a young woman who's parents gave him money for his stupid campaign and tries to joke it off as if something is funny. They should also review why John is backing away from laughing at tire gauges.

    Yeah, they need to review lots of questionable issues. Good luck.

    Obama 08

    August 7, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  16. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    John McCain's campaign says it is returning tens of thousands of dollars in contributions solicited by a foreign citizen.

    The move follows the disclosure that the money was being raised by a Jordanian man who is a business partner of prominent Florida Republican Harry Sargeant III.

    The McCain campaign says some of the people solicited by Mustafa Abu Naba'a had no intention of supporting McCain for president.

    Campaign spokesman Brian Rogers says "that just didn't sound right to us" so the money is being returned.

    THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

    WASHINGTON (AP) _ John McCain's campaign began on Thursday to review donations brought in by the prominent head of a Florida oil trading company following disclosures that his business partner, a foreign citizen, also may have engaged in fundraising.

    The campaign is looking into hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions to make sure that they are appropriate, a spokesman said.

    August 7, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  17. Blinded by the light....

    On his toes...FOR YOU!

    August 7, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  18. LINDA

    People it is in the AM. New York Times the whole story and CNN. won`t let me post it check it out you will know what kind of underhanded things you all want for a commander and cheif.i say OBAMA ALL THE WAY

    August 7, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  19. Carl from MI

    Hmmm... questionable donations to the GOP... THAT NEVER HAPPENS!!! HAHAHA

    I'm betting Stevens, DeLay, and the rest of the GOP that are on the take were wishing they gave back all of those questionable donations right about now. Thank God their Culture of Corruption is almost over.

    Republican motto: Party before Country, Money before Honor!

    August 7, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  20. tigerakabj

    I call lobbyists donations (i.e. oil and gas) to his campaign questionable donations. But he won't review those. So this is a moot point.

    Obama/Sebelius 2008/2012.

    August 7, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  21. Ms. White

    He needs money...Money he can not raise from American citizens...and we what him as our President who may take kick backs from our counties...selling our country to the highest bidder.
    Please send him to a nursing home!!!!!!!!!!

    August 7, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  22. LINDA


    Family’s Donations to McCain Raise Questions

    August 7, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  23. curly

    And where does Obama get all his money.

    He says most of his money comes in as small donations from supporters. He brings in huge amounts over what Hillary was able to raise. Says she gets most of her money from big corporate donations. Then is only able to muster a narrow margin in the primary votes.

    Hum, the math looks a little fuzzy. Maybe all the millions of people making small donations to him aren't voting?

    August 7, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  24. Debby, NJ

    McShame, McShame ?? What Have We Got Here ??

    August 7, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  25. Wisconsin


    So the crook himself is looking to see if he took anything, this sounds well though out.

    McShame was BOUGHT by Big Oil for 1.3 mil

    August 7, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
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