Donald Trump has defended his tens of thousands of dollars in donations to Democrats, while running in the Republican primary for president, by saying he’s a businessman and he was just donating to them to get them to give him government favors.
But were his donations really just pay-for-play? Were his donations in line with the courtesy cash other businessmen give politicians? Or were they more on scale with what megadonors who try to influence elections give?
To find out, Bombs and Dollars visited the Federal Election Commission’s information database (which includes everything from 1997 to 2016) and ran the numbers on Donald Trump–then compared them to an avowed Democrat and one of the biggest fundraisers in U.S. politics, investor George Soros.
What did we find out? Trump is on par–and even surpassing–Soros in terms of donating to many key Democrats.
For example, while Trump has given $7,400 to Sen. Harry Reid, who served as the Democrat’s leader since 2005 and the Senate Majority Leader from 2007-2015, while Soros has only donated $2,400 to Reid. Trump also gave $4,000 to the previous Democratic leader in Senate, Tom Daschle, also more than Soros.
Besides just giving over $70,000 to individual Democrats who voted for Obamacare and urged its passage, Trump also donated to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Between 2004-08, when the Democrats shifted control of Senate by nine seats and took control of the Senate, Trump gave $67,500 to the DSCC.