Which Candidates Has Donald Trump Given Money To? The Donald Claims He's Given To Everyone In GOP Debate
At the first 2015 GOP presidential debate Thursday night, Donald Trump stated that he had given money to all of the candidates on the Republican stage. Was that an accurate statement? Until 2010, Trump actually contributed mainly to Democratic candidates, but he's since channeled the majority of his donations to GOP candidates. So were those included in the party's first debate of this presidential election among them?
Trump's GOP contributions amped up five years ago, but he was giving to some Republicans long before that, and yes, they include some of his opponents. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush has said that Trump hosted a fundraiser for Bush in 2002, and Trump gave $500 to Bush that year. Trump donated to Ted Cruz’s PAC in April 2014 (and called him a “very special guy”). Trump gave $350,000 to the Republican Governors Association at New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's request, he has claimed, which isn't a donation directly to a Christie campaign but certainly benefits him. Trump has financially supported Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul's charity work. According to the Daily Caller, Trump has also donated to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who incidentally asked Trump for more during the debate. Ohio Gov. John Kasich also asked Trump for cash during the debate.
No word on whether Trump has given to Kasich's, Ben Carson's, or Marco Rubio's campaigns, but Trump's statement that he had given to all of his opponents seems nearly true.
Trump went on to argue that the influence he wields by donating is evidence of a major flaw in the U.S. political system. "When they call, I give. And you know what, when I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them. They are there for me. That's a broken system," he said. Trump noted that he has also given to Hillary Clinton's campaigns (in 2002, 2005, 2006, and 2007), and he has reportedly given over $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation. Trump quipped that he gave to Clinton so she would come to his wedding.
While Trump seemed to see all of this donation bragging as proof of his influence and career politicians' greed and spinelessness, at least one Twitter user noted that all it might actually be evidence of how little real influence Trump has:
Money can't buy you everything, Donald.