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Huge indeed: $107 million in donations for Trump's inaugural


Donations from large U.S. companies and their executives helped propel spending on Donald Trump's Presidential inauguration to a record-setting $US106.7 million, according to a United States government filing.

After giving $5 million, Las Vegas gaming billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his wife had prime seats for Trump's swearing-in ceremony on January 20 and gained access to a private lunch with the new president and lawmakers at the Capitol.

Two other casino moguls were also generous: Phil Ruffin donated $1 million, and Steve Wynn gave $729,000.

Roughly $107 million was raised for President Trump's inauguration on January 20, according to a report by The New York Times.

Trump struggled to raise large sums of money for much of the campaign, though the report shows a large number of traditional donors and companies in recent months making amends by funding his inauguration. He met with Adelson at Trump Tower in NY before taking office and then seated the couple in prime seats on the dais when he took the oath. That's according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission show.

Trump's associates and longtime friends also contributed a significant amount of money.

President Donald Trump and the Republican Party are fast at work amassing a war chest for 2020, raising tens of millions of dollars before Trump even marks his 100th day in the White House.

Perhaps most notably, the billionaire behind the Dakota Access Pipeline - Kelcy Warren - gave $250,000 to Trump's inauguration committee in December.

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The Trump committee raised a record $107 million, more than twice the previous record-holder, President Barack Obama's 2009 inaugural committee, which brought in $53 million.

But despite the impressive dollar figure, Trump's festivities memorably attracted modest crowds, prompting an awkward inception for the White House as it disputed photographic evidence showing that Trump's crowd was far smaller than the one attending Obama's first inauguration. He promised to give any extra money to charity, but didn't specify which ones.

While presidents face fewer restrictions in their inaugural spending than they do for their campaigns, Trump's two predecessors applied more limits than Trump himself.

Inaugural officials didn't return requests for comment.

For example, aerospace and defense groups Boeing Co and Lockheed Martin Corp each donated $1 million to Trump's inauguration fund, the filing said. He lifted those caps in 2013, when he raised about $43 million for a lower-key event.

Former President George W. Bush raised $40 million to $42 million for each of his two inaugurations.

In the past, questions have been raised about Trump's follow-through on his commitments to make charitable donations.

Those megadonors contributed to Trump's monster inauguration haul of almost $107 million, the FEC forms show. Much of that money was distributed in May 2016, after The Washington Post pressed him about whether he had followed through on his promise.