It is said that presidential candidate Donald Trump is popular because he is anti-establishment. But is he really? The established way of winning in politics is with Big Money, and it is no secret that Big Donations have been useful to Trump in the past. He has publicly boasted how his previous donations to Hillary Clinton and other Democrats were made in order to “get people to do what he wanted.”
So, why has Donald Trump changed his stance on money-in-politics? Is it out of principle, or out of frustration?
The answer lies in Trump’s failed attempts to inspire Big Donors to financially support his own political ambitions. In classic sour-grapes attitude, he now claims that presidential candidates who attract Big Money are merely puppets.
This ‘amazing’ revelation appears to be born out of frustration. Upholding anti-corruption practices out of principle has nothing to do with it.
Donald Trump has taken a big stand against money in politics. He has consistently claimed that he will not be taking money from big donors. However, a story from Politico reveals that he actually courted big donors prior to railing against them.
— The Humanist Report
The candidate quietly wooed Sheldon Adelson, Paul Singer and the Koch brothers.
Donald Trump has spent much of his presidential campaign bashing his GOP rivals as beholden to major donors, and, in recent weeks, he’s expanded his attacks to include three major donors in particular ― Sheldon Adelson, Paul Singer and the Koch brothers.
But POLITICO has learned that Trump or his surrogates have sought to build relationships ― if not support ― from all three, calling into question the billionaire real estate showman’s repeated assertions that, because of his wealth, he has no use for major donors.
Trump’s courtship of Adelson, a Las Vegas casino mogul and ardent Zionist, involved “a very clear ask for money,” said a source close to Adelson, who noted the request came even as Trump was publicly declaring that he didn’t need donors’ money… Trump personally called Adelson and had his staff attempt to set up a meeting in Vegas.
A similar pattern unfolded with Singer, a politically influential New York hedge fund billionaire who also is an ardent Israel hawk. Back in March, when Trump was still publicly toying with running for president, Kushner reached out to one of Singer’s representatives to try to broker a meeting between the representative and Trump, according to a source familiar with the interaction. Kushner indicated that Trump was laying the groundwork for a campaign and suggested Singer’s representative might want to hear about the plans, according to the source.
The entreaties, which did not result in a meeting, came after Kushner attended a March event at Singer’s office at which the billionaire and other donors had the chance to meet with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who was then exploring a presidential campaign of his own.
But a few days after Singer declared his support for Rubio on Friday, Trump went on the attack.
The Trump campaign sought access to the political and public policy network helmed by the Koch brothers. Trump’s aides detailed his policy positions for the Kochs and their donors in a survey put together by Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, the group that coordinates the Koch network and hosts its twice-a-year donor gatherings.
But when Trump was not among the five candidates invited to the Koch donor gathering in August at which the survey was distributed to donors, he unleashed some serious snark at his rivals who were included ― Rubio, Walker, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina.
“I wish good luck to all of the Republican candidates that traveled to California to beg for money etc. from the Koch Brothers. Puppets?” he tweeted.
— Kenneth P. Vogel and Ben Schreckinger, Politico