Financial disclosures filed on Tuesday reveal that corporate chiefs, including those with pending business before then-incoming President Trump, provided much of the financing for the festivities around his inauguration.
Complying with federal law, the Trump Inaugural Committee disclosed its donors to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on Tuesday, showing total contributions of more than $106 million – a new record.
Included in the roster of funders is pipeline builder Kelcy Warren, who contributed a quarter-million dollars to the event. Warren’s company, Energy Transfer, is behind construction of the controversial Dakota Access pipeline.
In an interview with The Dallas News in January, Warren described 2016 as the “toughest year of my life,” referring to protests that rocked the company over the construction of DAPL. He said that Trump’s election gave him hope.
Protests over DAPL forced the Obama administration to put the project on hold. Indigenous and environmental activists claim the pipeline threatens lands and water that are crucial to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota. Trump, however, ignored those pleas and green-lighted construction of DAPL in February.
Several other companies that later benefited from executive actions taken by President Trump also donated to the inauguration.
Coal mining giant Murray Energy and petrol companies Chevron and Citgo gave over a million dollars combined. Last month, Trump took actions that put former President Obama’s signature climate change regulation, the Clean Power Plan, in jeopardy.
Health insurance companies MetLife and Anthem also chucked over $100,000 apiece at the Trump inaugural committee, just as the incoming administration was plotting to repeal Affordable Care Act regulations.
Other inaugural donors included top Wall Street firms like JP Morgan Chase and American Financial Group. Both companies each forked over $500,000 to Trump’s celebratory organization. In his first few months in office, Trump has also taken aim at financial rules put in place by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform law.
Well-known GOP funder and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson was the top contributor to the inaugural committee, donating a whopping $5 million.
Notable investor Charles Schwab and GoDaddy.com founder Bob Parson also were large donors, each one contributing a million dollars. That donation tier provided access to a “leadership luncheon” described as “an exclusive event with select Cabinet appointees and House and Senate leadership,” according to documents obtained by the Center for Public Integrity.
The $106.7 million raised in total is a biggest haul of any inaugural committee.
Former President Obama’s 2013 Inaugural Committee collected $44.6 million, and also solicited corporate donors.