Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has contributed to the political campaigns of three of his fellow GOP candidates and another likely contender, records show.
Trump, who announced his White House bid in dramatic fashion on Tuesday, has contributed in the past to three official Republican candidates: former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former New York Gov. George Pataki. He’s also donated to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is expected to formally launch his campaign next month.
That’s in addition to money the TV personality and real estate mogul has given to another presidential contender — former New York U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton. Trump gave Clinton’s campaign $4,100 between 2002 and 2007. He also gave $100,000 to Clinton’s family nonprofit, the Clinton Foundation.
According to the National Institute on Money in State Politics, Trump contributed $500 on June 7, 2002, to Bush’s successful 2002 gubernatorial re-election effort. He gave $10,000 to Walker’s re-election campaign last June. Trump was most generous towards Pataki, donating $43,500 to his gubernatorial campaigns between 1995 and 2000. Trump gave Huckabee’s political action committee, Huck PAC, $2,500 in Oct. 2012, according to records from the Center for Responsive Politics.
Trump’s past support for Bush is perhaps most interesting given the billionaire’s recent attacks against the GOP front-runner.
During his announcement speech on Tuesday, Trump slammed Bush on issues ranging from his stance on the Iraq war to immigration and Common Core. “Is he intelligent?” Trump asked.
“He’s weak on immigration. He’s in favor of Common Core. How the hell can you vote for this guy? You just can’t do it.”
During the speech Trump did not mention his other political beneficiaries: Clinton, Walker, Huckabee or Pataki.
Trump has been close with both Clinton and Walker compared to most other candidates. Besides donating to Clinton’s family charity, Trump also invited her to sit in the front row of his 2005 wedding. In February, Trump met privately with Walker to discuss future political plans. He has also praised Walker in the past for how he’s dealt with public unions during his tenure in Wisconsin. (RELATED: Donald Trump Donated Heavily To Democrats)
Trump’s campaign downplayed the candidate’s donations to his new competition.
“Virtually all of the GOP primary candidates come to see Mr. Trump and ask for money and/or support,” a Trump campaign spokesperson told The Daily Caller. “That’s what politicians do. Unlike all his competitors, Mr. Trump is not asking people for money. He will not be accountable to the special interests and big money donors.”
“The voters can trust him to keep his promises and do the right thing for the country, not for his donors.”
Trump made a similar pitch during his speech on Tuesday, which was given at Trump Towers in Manhattan.
“I’m using my own money,” Trump said. “I’m not using the lobbyists. I’m not using donors. I don’t care. I’m really rich.”
“And by the way,” he added, “I’m not even saying that in a braggadocios…that’s the kind that’s the kind of thinking you need for this country.”