Politics

Robert Kraft among those who donated to Trump’s inauguration

President Trump stood behind New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft as Kraft delivered remarks during an event celebrating the team's Super Bowl win.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
President Trump stood behind New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft as Kraft delivered remarks during an event celebrating the team's Super Bowl win.

WASHINGTON — Blue-chip American companies, kings of “dark money,” titans of professional football and even a Florida retirement community.

They all contributed to Donald Trump’s inauguration. Together, the donor rolls for the president’s inaugural committee, which announced this week that it had raised a staggering $107 million, take up 510 pages.

Million-dollar checks came in from nearly 50 people or corporations, many of whom have interests at stake in Washington or ties to the government. Smaller checks came in from all corners of the country and nearly every large industry — not to mention from some of Trump’s closest friends.

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We scoured the documents and found some of the more interesting donors.

— Friends in the NFL

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Trump’s flirtations with purchasing an NFL team never came to fruition. And his ownership, in the 1980s, of a team in the short-lived U.S. Football League led only to antagonism with the NFL.

But if any bitterness between Trump and the league lingers, it was not evident on Inauguration Day.

At least six NFL team owners cut $1 million checks to support the festivities. They were Daniel Snyder of the Washington Redskins; Stan Kroenke of the Los Angeles Rams; Shahid R. Khan of the Jacksonville Jaguars; Bob McNair of the Houston Texans; Robert K. Kraft of the New England Patriots; and Woody Johnson of the New York Jets. It helps that Kraft, who was at the White House on Wednesday celebrating the Patriots’ Super Bowl championship, is a close friend of Trump’s. So is Johnson, who is the president’s choice to be ambassador to Britain.

A seventh donor appears to be Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys. Although his name does not appear in the documents, Jones is listed as the president of a corporation that controls a group, Glenstone Limited Partnership, that contributed $1 million to the committee.

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Edward Glazer, whose family co-owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, contributed $250,000.

But it was not just team owners who chipped in. NFL Ventures LP, a wing of the National Football League, gave $100,000.

Not to be outdone, the office of the commissioner of Major League Baseball also wrote a check for $100,000, and Marlene M. Ricketts, whose family owns the Chicago Cubs, handed over $1 million.

— The Inaugural Jackpot

Trump’s biggest inaugural donor by far was Sheldon G. Adelson, the casino magnate and philanthropist who gave a record $5 million to support the festivities. But he is far from the only gambling industry magnate to support the cause.

Frank J. Fertitta, the chief executive of Fertitta Entertainment and Station Casinos, gave $207,000. Fertitta Entertainment, which owns the Ultimate Fighting Championship, gave another $500,000.

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Phil Ruffin, a friend of the president’s with investments in the casino industry and a seat on the inaugural committee, gave $1 million. Ruffin teamed up with Trump to build the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Las Vegas. His wife, Oleksandra Nikolayenko-Ruffin, a former Miss Ukraine, gave another $25,000.

Wynn Resorts, one of the world’s largest casino companies, contributed $729,217 in in-kind musical performances for the week’s events, according to the disclosure. The company was started by Steve Wynn, a friend and sometimes rival of Trump’s who was also on the inaugural committee.

— Energy Industry Support

The donor rolls are almost a who’s who of oil, gas, coal and energy companies. Many of the country’s largest oil companies, including Chevron, Valero and BP’s North American arm, each gave hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The chief executive of the Hess Corp., John B. Hess, contributed $1 million. And Exxon Mobil, whose former chief executive, Rex W. Tillerson, is now the secretary of state, gave $500,000. The company has a request pending with the Treasury Department for a waiver from Russian sanctions to allow it to drill in the Black Sea.

Reviving the coal industry was a centerpiece of Trump’s campaign, and coal producers gave generously to the inaugural events. The coal executives Christopher Cline and J. Clifford Forrest each contributed $1 million, as did a trust controlled by another coal magnate, Joseph W. Craft III. The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported in 2014 that Forrest was the owner of Freedom Industries, a coal chemical company that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after a spill from one of its tanks contaminated the drinking water of 300,000 West Virginians.

Checks also came from companies that support drilling, mining and transporting fossil fuels. Anadarko Petroleum, of Texas, and Continental Resources, of Oklahoma, both oil exploration and production companies, chipped in $100,000 each. Kelcy L. Warren, the head of the company building the Dakota Access Pipeline, gave $250,000.

Liquefied natural gas and ethanol were represented, too, with $100,000 from Cheniere Energy Shared Services and $1 million from Green Plains Renewable Energy.

— A Venezuelan Connection

Among many contributions from the oil and gas industry, one, from Houston-based Citgo Petroleum, stood out. That is because Citgo is the U.S. affiliate of Venezuela’s state oil company, known as PDVSA.

The $500,000 donation arrived in December, at a time when the country’s president, Nicolás Maduro, was grappling with a failing economy and widespread food and medicine shortages. It has quickly raised concerns about priorities at home.

— Anonymous Donors

Several large contributions came from companies with seemingly inscrutable names, some of which are easier to untangle than others. That is because while presidential campaigns cannot take donations from companies that are not specifically tied to individuals, inaugural committees can.

An entity identified as LMC IP, for instance, gave $1 million. It lists its location in the disclosures as the same Bethesda, Maryland, address as Lockheed Martin, the aerospace and defense giant.

The ownership and operations of other entities are more difficult to discern. BH Group LLC, for example, gave $1 million and lists its address as an Arlington, Virginia, office tower across the Potomac River from Washington.

— From Catering to Visas

Claudine Revere is a principal at Relish Caterers, a New York company that has provided catering and event planning services to Trump. She donated $1 million. Passing canapés can be a lucrative business; she is also married to Anthony Pratt, one of Australia’s richest citizens.

The American Action Network, a “dark money” group that regularly spends money to support Republican candidates, also gave $1 million. The group was the biggest donor to a super PAC that spent over $2 million opposing Jon Ossoff, a Georgia Democrat running to fill the House seat vacated by Tom Price, who left Congress to become health and human services secretary. (Ossoff qualified for a June 20 runoff.)

A million dollars came from Nicholas A. Mastroianni III, whose family firm, the United States Immigration Fund, is a major force in the contentious federal EB-5 visa program. The program, which allows wealthy foreigners to seek U.S. residency in exchange for investments here, expires at the end of April; Trump has not yet taken a position on it.

And while residents of the Villages, a planned retirement community northwest of Orlando that advertises itself as “Florida’s Friendliest Hometown,” were divided on whom to support in the presidential election, the Villages put $250,000 toward Trump’s inaugural festivities.