(Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

Donald Trump will meet with you, but only if you've donated a lot of money to him or the GOP

The president-elect, who accused other Republicans of being "puppets" to their donors, has exposed strings


Matthew Rozsa
December 28, 2016 8:35PM (UTC)

President-elect Donald Trump had met with almost 200 people since his election last month — including individuals seeking jobs in his administration — and more than one-third of them made six-or-seven figure donations to either his campaign or the Republican Party.

Seventy-three of the people Trump has met since winning the presidential election contributed a combined $1.7 million to Trump and pro-Trump groups and $57.3 million to the rest of the Republican Party, as Politico reported on Tuesday. The average amount given by these donors was $800,000. Big money donors comprise 39 percent of the people Trump considered for powerful government posts and 38 percent of the people Trump has actually selected so far.

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"President-elect Trump has nominated successful and qualified individuals to serve in his administration to implement a pro-growth, pro-America agenda," a transition team spokesman told Politico. "Together, they are committed towards ending the corrupt Washington system that have failed the American people for far too long."

While Trump hiring donors is not illegal, it certainly contradicts the message of his own campaign. In addition to famously proclaiming that he would "drain the swamp," Trump also attacked many of his rivals for their alleged dependence on wealthy donors.

Trump also called Gov. Jeb Bush a "puppet" in October 2015.

These attacks came one month after Trump posted on Facebook that "by self-funding my campaign, I am not controlled by my donors, special interests or lobbyists. I am only working for the people of the U.S.!"

Of course, the president-elect continues to insist that he plans on draining the swamp, even as he hands the reins of power over to the bog monsters who helped bankroll his campaign and Republican Party politics in general.

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Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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