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. linda from South Dakota

    i would be very lerry if mccain got donations too,, and where, they cam e from

    August 7, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  2. K Mansfield, NY, NY

    McCain stories are boring... do you have anything about Obama?

    August 7, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  3. Texun

    Does the "questionable" list include Exxon/Mobil for more than $50,000?

    August 7, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  4. Neal

    The 'straight talk' express is corrupt.
    The guy was censured in what 1993 or 92 for his part in the S&L BS as a sitting Senator.
    That means he was probably guilty, but they couldn't quite prove it. He didn't protest it. He just kept quiet, and a few years later pretended to become a campaign finance reformer.
    All a lie.

    August 7, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  5. Jack

    If this story was about Obama rather than McCain, the right wing noise machine would frothing at the mouth. I can just hear Limbaugh and Hannity trying to link someone who happens to have a different kind of name like this donor to some terrorist organization and use it as proof that Hezbollah or Hamaas supports Obama.

    Obama 08!!! On his way to winning 300+ electoral votes

    August 7, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  6. Dylan from Minneapolis

    I think anyone who donates to the McCain campaign is questionable in some way shape or form.

    August 7, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  7. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA



    August 7, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  8. muthu

    Any further information about Cindy McCain's investments in SUDAN, now that Sudanese President is being investigated by International Court!

    August 7, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  9. Susan

    Everything McCain does is questionable!! OBAMA 08!!!

    August 7, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  10. From Texas

    No need to return any donations. McBush is intentionally and knowingly of that kind of donations to accept, and now He knows that he's been recorded trying to return them. Who cares, he's not gonna win any way.... Obama for President!

    August 7, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  11. mike in caroline va

    another thing that is questionable is his sobrity in sturgis this week. was he drunk, high on exhaust fumes, or just that stupid that he can't form a sentence while he speeks. howard dean threw his whole effort away and didn't look half as stupid as mcidiot did. heck i would vote for paris before i would vote for him!!!

    August 7, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  12. Barack Has My Vote

    When I say "Loser", you say McCain; "Loser, McCain", "Loser, McCain"!! What else is new? McCain is a crook, and it says in all in that sneaky half-dimwit smile he has; which is insincere and condesending. Senator Obama has already told everyone that he has taken in excess of 2 million from the oil companies for his campaign (and clinbing). But NO, no one wants to believe Senator Obama! McCain is in lockstep with Bush, WHICH INCLUDES RIPPING OFF AMERICANS ALONG WITH THE BIG OIL COMPANIES FOR THEIR OWN GAIN. What disgusts me is when McCain is "caught red-handed", the media excuses it, sweeps it under the rug and searches for things to criticize Senator Obama about. It's ridiculous how much bad press McCain is allowed to get away with, with only a slap on the wrist, but everyone stands ready to demonize Senator Obama. It's RIDICULOUS!

    August 7, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  13. Tyler in Raleigh

    McCain, the guy who makes good decisions in hindsight... but his plan for the future stinks.

    August 7, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |


    August 7, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  15. Mopy the Whale

    What about Obama's $20K plus from two Gaza Strip residents?

    August 7, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  16. Dan, TX

    So what, we expect McCain to cheat, now if Obama had something like this happen, it would prove he was unfit to be president. But for McCain, no problem, we all know he's an OK guy. But Obama, we can't really trust him, can we?

    August 7, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  17. Cindy

    Hey, stuff happens... when they are discovered, you correct it, and then move on. Done.

    I'm an Obama supporter, but I don't fault McCain for this. He discovered it, and corrected it. Obama's done the same.

    August 7, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  18. Barack the Vote!

    I WANT TO KNOW WHETHER THIS MUSTAFA ABU NABA IS A MUSLIM OR FROM A MUSLIM COUNTRY, AND WHETHER HE OR HARRY SARGENT HAVE ANY TIES TO AL-QUAEDA OR ANY OTHER TERRORIST GROUP. The term "foreign national" is vague and does not tell us anything. There is something "smelly" about this and needs to be looked into before McCain and his camp pull a cover-up.

    If this was Senator Obama, it would be all over the front page news with all kinds of wild baseless accusations! We need to have this thoroughly looked into; McCain is a crook! The public sentiment is enough has not been reported about McCain. SO, GO REPORT CNN AND OTHER MEDIA! WE'RE WAITING.

    August 7, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  19. Josie WA

    IF THE CLINTONS DIVIDE THE PARTY -their legacy is toast.

    August 7, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  20. FL4Obama

    Since McCain is addressing questionable donations, what happened to the funds raised by the person who made the inappropriate comments about rape? McCain cancelled the event, but did he keep the funds? Also, has McCain refunded the donations requested by the Hiltons for treatment of their daughter? I used to support McCain in 2000, but he is unfortunately not the same politician now.

    August 7, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  21. Obama supporter: When is it McCain's turn for Scutiny?

    Alawys after his hand is caught in the cookie jar....

    August 7, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  22. Loving OBama

    Aw come on John, please. Why pretend you don't want the money. And to all of you who say you can't trust Barack Obama. What makes you think you can trust McCain? And all of you PUMA people, go ahead and vote for McCain. I dare you. It will be fun to read the ticker when McCain's policies start to bite you. And to all the republicans who keep showing up on this website – why don't you go to a conservative website? There must be at least one festering somewhere on the internet. Bye!!!! Obama forever!!!!

    August 7, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  23. ADAM


    August 7, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  24. non white & non-black person

    I wonder what else McCain is hiding.

    August 7, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  25. Clinton, no, wait, McCain Supporter

    Right you are, John.

    Better safe than sorry.

    August 7, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
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