(WASHINGTON) — Billionaires, corporations and NFL owners opened their wallets in a big way to help President Donald Trump raise a record-shattering $107 million for his inaugural festivities, records released by the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday show. The amount about doubled the record set by President Barack Obama eight years ago.
After giving $5 million, Las Vegas gaming billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his wife had prime seats for Trump’s swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 20 and gained access to a private lunch with the new president and lawmakers at the Capitol. Phil Ruffin, another casino mogul and close friend of Trump, gave $1 million.
All the seven-figure contributions fed into a fundraising total that dwarfed the amounts raised for past inaugurations — yet produced an event that was largely viewed as lower-key than previous swearing-in festivities. Trump’s inaugural committee doesn’t have to disclose what it spent the money on or how much was left over. But it did promise to “identify and evaluate charities that will receive contributions left from the excess monies raised.”
NFL owners who chipped in $1 million each included Dan Snyder of the Redskins, Stan Kroenke of the Rams, the Patriots’ Bob Kraft via the Kraft Group, Bob McNair of the Texans and the Jaguars’ Shahid Kahn.
Businesses that donated at the $1 million level included Bank of America, Boeing, Dow Chemical, Pfizer, Allied Wallet, Access Industries, Qualcomm. Health care, energy and beverage companies were among the many businesses giving $250,000 or more.
Companies also gave huge in-kind contributions of goods and services, including $2.1 million from AT&T for mobile equipment and software, nearly $500,000 in “vehicle expenses” from General Motors, $500,000 in equipment from Microsoft, $300,000 in food and beverages from Coca Cola, $257,000 from Pepsi and more than $500,000…