Which Politicians Does Donald Trump Give His Money To?

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Donald Trump has attached himself to Mitt Romney's hip in the last 24 hours, providing the nominee with (depending on who you ask) a major headache or a secret weapon. But has he given him anything he can actually use?

Despite the controversy Trump drags with him wherever he goes, Romney has refused to throw Trump overboard, allegedly because of things like last night's Las Vegas fundraiser that reportedly raised around $2 million. But how much of that money actually came from Trump himself? Is he putting his trademarked Trump cash where his trademarked Trump mouth is?

Well, we don't yet know what if anything he gave last night, because its too soon for any disclosure reports to have been filed with the Federal Election Commission. However, we checked the databases of the FEC and OpenSecrets.org and found that so far this election cycle, Trump has contributed exactly zero dollars to Romney's campaign. In fact, he didn't give to any of the Republican presidential candidates this year, probably because he was pretending to run himself for awhile. Or perhaps he was simply waiting to see who came out on top. Trump was an official bundler for John McCain in 2008 and is expected to be one again, this time for Romney.

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But who has Trump actually given his money to? Almost everyone else it seems, regardless of political affiliations. 

For the 2012 cycle, he's limited his donations to a handful of Republicans, giving small donations to Rep. Peter King, Rep. Ed Royce, Senate candidate Linda McMahon, and Rep. Allen "80 Percent of Democrats Are Communists" West. He also gave $30,000 to the Republican Senate Campaign Committee. (His son Don Jr. gave the maximum $2,500 to Mitt, directly.) 

However, if you go back to 2010 and 2008, it seems Trump was not afraid to throw his money around to just about anyone who would take it. A partial list of candidates who received checks from The Donald in the last few elections includes heavy hitters from both major parties, and not just New Yorkers who represent his state: Kirsten Gillebrand, Tom Coburn, Charles Schumer, Charlie Crist, Harry Reid, Arlen Specter, Rudy Giuliani, Richard Durban, Harold Ford, Joe Lieberman, Frank Lautenberg, Chris Dodd, Erskine Bowles, and even Ted Kennedy. He's very generous, but not picky.

There's also another list that would make a nice who's who of the best scandal-plagued Congresspeople of the last eight years or so: Chris Lee (caught searching for extramarital affairs on Craiglist); Anthony Weiner (sexting scandal); Charles Rangel (ethics censure); John Ensign (affair with staffer's wife, then bribed the staffer to keep quiet); Mark Foley (inappropriate behavior toward Senate pages); George Allen (the "macaca" incident), Robert Torricelli (illegal North Korean campaign contributions), Patrick Kennedy (crashed his car while under the influence of prescription drugs); and Vito Fossella (DUI, affair, out of wedlock child.)

Trump has also given regularly to both the Democratic and Republican Congressional and Senate committees, as well as presidential candidates John Kerry, George W. Bush, John McCain, Joe Biden, and yes, Hillary Clinton. In fact, it seems the only person he absolutely won't give his money to is his Kenyan-Indonesian nemesis, Barack Obama. And (maybe) Mitt Romney.

Update: Molly Ball from our sister site at The Atlantic reminds us that our information only covers federal donations, but Trump is even more active at the state level. Check our her story at Politico.com for a deeper look at his state and local donations.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.