Donald Trump has made a point of denigrating super PACs, explaining a quid pro quo expectation exists between donors and the candidates, but the real estate mogul attended and briefly spoke at a Make America Great Again PAC gathering in New York last month, Politico
Mike Ciletti, a consultant for the super PAC, told the website that the 200 people in attendance comprised "a combination of friends that have known Mr. Trump for years while others were meeting him for the first time."
During a Sunday appearance on CBS News' "Face the Nation,"
Trump explained that he’s accepting contributions, "but it has to be no strings attached."
"I don't want lobbyists, I don't want special interests, but certainly people — we have a lot of money coming in," Trump said. "I would even take big contributors as long as they don't expect anything, because the only people that can expect something from me is going to be the people that want to see our country be great again.
"I actually like the idea of investing in a campaign, but it has to be no strings attached. I don't want any strings attached," he added.
During that same CBS appearance, according to CNN
, Trump shared his direct knowledge of giving something with the expectation of getting something.
"Look, I know the people that want something," he said. "I've been doing this all my life. I've been a very big contributor to many, many people on all sides for many, many years. I don't want lobbyists. I don't want special interests.
"He said he recently took a check for $7.23 from a woman who sent 'a beautiful little letter' saying it was all she had," CNN reported.
"But he said he rejected a $5 million contribution from a lobbyist — who Trump didn't name — who he expected would want favors in return in the years ahead."
During his June announcement speech, the businessman worth a reported $10 billion pledged to self-finance his campaign.
"I’m using my own money. I’m not using the lobbyists. I’m not using donors. I don’t care. I’m really rich," he boasted, according to Politico.
There are five pro-Trump super PACs, Politico reports, but whether the billionaire is actively involved with any of them is unknown.
He emailed a statement to Politico stating that "there are so many people wanting to contribute and I am so grateful for their support. I appreciate the moral investment in my vision to Make America Great Again."
According to Trump, "somebody that’s reliant on all of these lobbyists and special interests and donors, they have no power to make a decision, because they feel obligated to all these people."
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