Intrigue surrounds Trump's campaign contributions
April 25th, 2011
05:16 PM ET
12 years ago

Intrigue surrounds Trump's campaign contributions

Washington (CNN) - Shortly before announcing interest in pursuing the GOP presidential bid, Republican Donald Trump gave $50,000, his largest campaign contribution in Illinois, to Democrat Rahm Emanuel, who was running for mayor, in December 2010.

The connection?

Rahm's brother Ari, who is co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, represents a majority of Hollywood's celebrity elite, including Trump.

Ari has been Trump's agent for many years, according to one of the mogul's top aides, Michael Cohen.

Records from the Illinois State Board of Elections show that Trump has made various sizable donations to Democratic causes in Illinois.

Records show that Trump contributed $12,500 to the Cook County Democratic Party between 2005 and 2007. He also lent support to his fellow Republicans in Illinois campaigns.

The reality show star gave $5,000 in 2002 to then-gubernatorial candidate Rod Blagojevich and another $2,000 in 2007 for his re-election campaign.

Blagojevich was a cast member on the third season of "Celebrity Apprentice," and "fired" after the fourth episode.

Trump gave $5,000 to Republican Gov. George Ryan during the 1998 election and another $5,000 to Ryan in 2001.

Ryan has been in federal prison since 2007 on a corruption conviction. Blagojevich, who was impeached, is being retried in federal court on felony charges.

Trump's camp said his campaign donations have less to do with politics and more about being a loyal friend to political fund-raising pals such as Woody Johnson, a philanthropist and owner of the New York Jets who courted Trump's financial support for the McCain-Palin ticket during the 2008 presidential election.

"If your friend asks you to do something, if you are financially capable, you do it," Cohen said.

Trump's presence in the Windy City includes a newly built high-rise of luxury condominiums and hotel in the middle of one of Chicago's most coveted neighborhoods. The shiny, modern glass structure, is the tallest building constructed in the U.S. since the Sears Tower.

Filed under: 2012 • Donald Trump
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Thank God I am a Democrat

    Sorry Birthers. This guy has turned out to be a fraud. Just look at the other post in the Ticker how he claims there is no Obama birth cert yet he won't give up the source or a single piece of proof to support this claim. Since you birthers are so insistant to have real proof I assume you will discredit Trumps claim just liek you discredit Obama's cert of live birth. Oh thats right Trumps on your side so you will take is "no evidence" claim as fact. You all are a joke.

    April 25, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  2. once upon a horse

    to think at one time I actually liked and somewhat admired Donald Trump.....even though he did cheat on his wives and wasn't Father of the Year but at least he seemed to be real. Now he's become more of a buffoon and it's not just with this birther stuff about a man he listed in a previous book he wrote as one he "admired as a great leader". And as for liberals disliking Trump I think it's moreso for the lying he's been doing than anything else. Trump was quite the liberal himself and it was the conserves that didn't like him.

    April 25, 2011 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  3. ingrid

    New age independent if your political decisions are based on doing the opposite of what a liberal says then I have a list of things for you to consider:
    1. don't vote for Obama.
    2. come to california
    3. vote for trump, bachman romney, palin or huckabee. They are all awesome candidates and bring a lot of substance and clear understanding of all the complex issues facing our nation.

    April 25, 2011 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  4. Indy

    Pretty low donations for someone who brags about how rich he is. Where are the one million dollar donations and one hundred thousand dollar donations ? This is all Chump change for what Trump thinks he is worth.

    April 25, 2011 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  5. CAW in MD

    @New Age Independant – liberals don't hate Trump; they are both amused at his pretensions and appalled that there are people who would actually consider voting him into office. But conservatives have never been a particularly brainy bunch...

    April 25, 2011 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  6. tellthe truth

    these posts are so funny i dont have to tune in to americas funniest home videos tonight.obama spends over 3 million dollars erasing his past, and his supporters are talking about questionable to speak of trump is beneath me,he has zero, yet you will vote for obama who has had all his school records erased, and you are suppose to be the party of equality. last but not least...his record of running things into the ground...completely disreguarding the fact that he has turned bankruptcy into billionare success, which btw, this country could use right about now

    April 25, 2011 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  7. MK

    I think Charlie Sheen will be his running mate.... two peas in a pod.

    April 25, 2011 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  8. Squigman

    It would be a blessing if there were prison time in the offing. Forget Lindsey. Jail this idiot.

    April 25, 2011 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
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