Donald Trump Inauguration Bankrolled By Corporate Giants

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."

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.

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.

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.

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