Donald Trump Inauguration Bankrolled By Corporate Giants

And other six-figure contributors include: General Motors ($498,650), Impala Asset Management ($325,000), Coca-Cola ($300,638), Murray Energy Corporation ($300,000), real estate investment firm The Witkoff Group ($300,000), Pilot Travel Centers LLC ($300,000), Google (285,000), Ford Motor Company ($250,000), Liberty Media Corporation ($250,000), Charter Communications ($250,000), Nextera Energy ($250,000), Pepsi ($250,000), Comcast Corp. ($250,000), United Parcel Service ($250,000), IBC Bank ($250,000) healthcare company Centene ($250,000), engineering outfit Fluor Corporation ($250,000) Florida retirement mecca The Villages ($250,000), beer giant Anheuser Busch ($250,000), the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians ($250,000), power and coal plant developer White Stallion Energy LLC ($175,000), Wal-Mart ($150,000), Consol Energy Inc. ($150,000) and dental company Managed Care of North America ($135,000).

Health insurers Anthem, MetLife and The Travelers Indemnity Company each contributed $100,000. Also giving $100,000: Verizon, Qualcomm, energy giant Southern Co., oil company Valero, Anadarko Petroleum, the United States Sugar Corporation, defense contractor Northrop Grumman, food company Chiquita Brands and — play ball! — the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, the FEC disclosure indicates. Visa and accounting firm Ernst & Young each chipped in $50,000.

“The amount of funds raised for the inaugural celebration allowed the President to give the American people, those both at home and visiting Washington, a chance to experience the incredible moment in our democracy where we witness the peaceful transition of power, a cornerstone of American democracy,” inauguration committee Chairman Tom Barrack said in a statement.

Other less-than-household names nevertheless also offered up significant cash.

MILLField Global Strategies, a Washington, D.C.-based firm that advertises "representing an international array of private and public entities to the world’s most influential governments and sectors," gave Trump's inaugural committee $125,000.

Ryan LLC, a Dallas-based tax firm that boasts of "liberating our clients from the burden of being overtaxed," gave more than twice that — $275,000.

Public relations firm Off the Record Strategies, led by George W. Bush White House alumnus Mark Pfeifle, sent an on-the-record $50,000 to the Trump inauguration.

Frog Fitness Inc. of Texas, which claims to have developed the "single most effective total body training device ever invented," donated $25,000. So, too, did Apollo Education Group, which owns the for-profit University of Phoenix, payday lender Checks Into Cash Inc. the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and law and lobbying firm Mintz Levin.

Also contributing $25,000 to Trump's inaugural committee on Jan. 6 was the Affleck-Middleton Project, a production company Oscar Award-winning actor and producer Casey Affleck formed in 2014 with John Powers Middleton. 

Billionaires and corporations helped fund Donald Trump's transition" data-reactid="36">

Related story: Billionaires and corporations helped fund Donald Trump's transition

reported that the Affleck-Middleton Project has contributed $5,000 to Trump's presidential transition effort, Affleck told BuzzFeed  he was "appalled."" data-reactid="37">Earlier this year, after the Center for Public Integrity reported that the Affleck-Middleton Project has contributed $5,000 to Trump's presidential transition effort, Affleck told BuzzFeed  he was "appalled."

Affleck added that he had "no knowledge of it, was never asked, and never would have authorized it. I will get to the bottom of it. The policies of the Trump administration, and the values they represent, are antithetical to everything I believe in.” 

Many of these corporate donors regularly lobby the federal government or are otherwise affected by decisions the federal government makes on a wide range of issues, from taxes and health care to immigration policy and military purchasing. Trump in November defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in part on an anti-establishment platform peppered with slogans such as "drain the swamp."

raised $106.7 million — about twice what President Barack Obama’s committee raised in 2009 to mark the incoming Democrat’s first inauguration. Trump put few limitations — for one, it capped corporate contributions at $1 million — on who could give to his inaugural committee and how much." data-reactid="40">In all, Trump's inaugural committee raised $106.7 million — about twice what President Barack Obama’s committee raised in 2009 to mark the incoming Democrat’s first inauguration. Trump put few limitations — for one, it capped corporate contributions at $1 million — on who could give to his inaugural committee and how much.

greater than $50,000. By his second inauguration, Obama had loosened some restrictions, allowing corporate interests to play a larger role." data-reactid="41">Obama's first inauguration committee strictly limited money from lobbyist and corporate sources and prohibited donations greater than $50,000. By his second inauguration, Obama had loosened some restrictions, allowing corporate interests to play a larger role.

President George W. Bush capped the amount of money donors could give to his two inaugurations at $100,000 in 2001 and $250,000 in 2005.

By federal law, presidential inauguration committees aren’t required to file detailed financial disclosures with the FEC until 90 days of an inauguration, meaning Trump's committee wasn't required to disclose its bankrollers until now.

When Trump's committee did, officials hand delivered the document to the FEC's office in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

The FEC posted the 508-page document Wednesday morning — a scanned paper document, as opposed to the easily searchable, electronic financial disclosures commonly submitted by most federal candidates, including Trump's own presidential committee.

A few of the big-dollar donors listed were obscure limited liability companies, the leaders of which weren't easily deciphered.

One such Trump inauguration donor, HFNWA LLC of Chattanooga, Tennessee, gave $1 million. The Center for Public Integrity previously reported that HFNWA LLC gave Democratic super PAC Senate Majority PAC $1 million in 2014. HFNWA LLC has addresses in Arkansas and Washington, D.C., and is managed, according to Arkansas Secretary of State records, by Franklin L. Haney, a Democratic political patron and real estate mogul.

"LMC IP" also gave Trump's transition $1 million. Its listed address in Bethesda, Maryland, is the same as the address for Lockheed Martin, the massive defense contractor.

An California-based entity called the "Papa Doug Trust" likewise gave $1 million. This trust, the >San Diego Reader reported in 2012, is tied to Douglas F. Manchester, a hotel developer and former publisher of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

s it promised it would, the names of charities to which it would give surplus money." data-reactid="50">Trump's inauguration committee filing did not include information on how it spent the money it raised. Nor did it immediately indicate, as it promised it would, the names of charities to which it would give surplus money.

Federal law also requires inaugural donors who lobby the federal government to file separate disclosures in January — if they made inaugural donations during 2016.

Some indeed did. And a Center for Public Integrity’s review of these documents indicated that Pfizer Inc. and Dow Chemical Co. were among the corporate early birds, each making $1 million contributions to Trump’s inaugural committee in December 2016.

Related story: Donald Trump offering huge perks for inauguration donors

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According to inauguration donor packages previously obtained by the Center for Public Integrity, donors in the “$1,000,000+” tier were to receive four tickets to a “leadership luncheon” billed as “an exclusive event with select Cabinet appointees and House and Senate leadership to honor our most generous inaugural supporters.”

Donors in the $500,000 tiers also got access to a dinner with Pence and his wife, a candlelight dinner with Trump and Pence, and other festivities. Donors in lower tiers received more limited ticket packages to inaugural events.

Microsoft Corp.Exxon Mobil Corp.Amgen Inc. and Altria Client Services LLC reported giving $500,000 each, a contribution that would have earned tickets to a similar list of events top-tier donors received.

According to Microsoft’s report, half its contribution was in cash and half in “in-kind contribution, products and services.”

Exxon Mobil Corp. reported making its contribution on Dec. 19, the week after Trump announced he would nominate Rex Tillerson, the company’s chairman and CEO, as secretary of state. The U.S. Senate confirmed Tillerson this year.

Six companies reported $100,000 contributions: Verizon Communications Inc.Valero Energy Corp.MetLife Group Inc.Clean Energy Fuels Corp. and Aetna Inc.

Aflac, Inc. reported giving $50,000 and Monsanto Co.Florida East Coast IndustriesCVS Health and Brown Rudnick LLP reported giving $25,000.

Carrie Levine, Chris Zubak-Skees and Rachel Wilson contributed to this report

This story is part of Federal Politics. News about ethics, campaign finance, lobbying and influence in the federal government. Click here to read more stories in this series.

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Copyright 2017 The Center for Public Integrity. This story was published by The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative news organization in Washington, D.C.

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