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. Fed up with the lies

    Now John, how are you going to spin your accepting questionable dontations to Sen. Obama being fit to run our nation? I would suggest that you who took so many weekends off from campaigning, leave Sen. Obama's well deserved vacation alone.

    August 7, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  2. Peter

    McCain reviews things?!

    August 7, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  3. Jon

    I'm a strong Obama supporter but I think I can say that McCain knew nothing about this and even though he has flip-flop 30 -40 times, forgets who is who or what country is next to another, lies on ads and has a problem of telling the truth when he talks about Obama.

    August 7, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  4. colene

    Remember this guy was a part of the Keating 5 and do i think he has changed? no way once a crook always a crook

    August 7, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  5. 26 years-still doesn't know ABC

    He doesn't know that he is not suppose to take foreign contributions?what a joke?
    Experience versus Judgement at any time. If this is a mistake made by Obama's camp, this wrinkly white haired idiot will jump up and done and chew our ears off.
    Get McInsane and his lobbyist campaign manager out. Immediately. This is an urgency my friends.

    August 7, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  6. steve

    What about the $61, 000 from that woman who earns less than $25,000 a year? McCain himself is questionable. Oh! Do they question the 2 million from Big Oil? Oh yea! they need that

    August 7, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  7. 26 years-still doesn't know ABC

    Questionable character-Talk is cheap

    August 7, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  8. New Yorker

    He's doing the right thing. Have you Democrats ever looked at the donations and contributors of you darling Clinton's.

    McCain 08

    August 7, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  9. 26

    Questionable character-Talk is cheap

    August 7, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  10. 72

    Experience versus judgement. McCain's judgement is so wrong on so many issues.

    August 7, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  11. New Yorker

    CNN moderators are so pro-Obama. You censor McCain supporters.

    McCain 08

    August 7, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  12. lea

    Campbell Brown is really doing a good job– she's provocative and objective. I like the way she pushes her guests– she's asking the kind of questions that I would like to ask. enjoy her show. She has made tremendous strides since moving into this job. Congrats.

    August 7, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  13. Paul

    And then they'll ask for more money right?

    August 7, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  14. I Am Not Shocked or Surprised!

    McCain is no maverick. He is a lackey.

    August 7, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  15. offwallstreet



    August 7, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  16. Peter of Oregon

    John McCain is highly questionable.

    August 7, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  17. sarafina49

    It's less than 50k today; the big number will be 2 weeks from now – when the story is buried.

    August 7, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  18. Ernie

    The email barrage of fraudulent claims about Obama's "foreign fundraising" was stupefying.

    I wonder if the same neocon dolts who were responsible for that avalanche of spam will even let this story seep into their sorry little brains.

    August 7, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  19. RJ, CA

    I trust Obama will do the same? Perhaps millions of overseas internet donations from highly questionable sources? Probably not, though . . . THAT would REALLY expose him for the fraud he is - and
    CNN would NEVER publish that.
    I applaud McCain for this move - integrity again. He's got my vote!

    CNN, look closer at the Obama Rezko connection - Obama knew him for a decade and considered him a close friend. Obama pushed for IL Senate legislation that DIRECTLY benefited Rezko.

    CNN, I DARE you to do some REAL investigative journalism. (But, alas, THAT would be WORK - so much easier to feed us OBAMA PABLUM! SAD!

    August 7, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  20. S. Boatman

    Too Late Mccain! We All Know That Your In The Pocket Of Crooks, Liars, And Thieves!

    August 7, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  21. BJKidd

    Under 50,000 is being returned. SURPRISE. I read that hundreds of thousands were donated. McCain you are so transparent, I find it truly amazing that there is one person that would vote for you, let alone millions. Does that tell you why this country is in the state that it is.

    August 7, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  22. Brenda of Saginaw ,Michigan

    So what else is new? Bush became the president because of his brother and the famous "CHAD" problem now McCain has a supplier of ill gotten money. He threw Paris H. under the bus after her mother gave him money and he sold his soul to the devil.

    August 7, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  23. America for the Truth


    August 7, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  24. McCain the Man

    I guess Crist of FL is off the "short list"

    August 7, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  25. Abe

    Don't forget to return the millions of dollars that you have received from Big Oil.

    August 7, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
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