Trump inaugural attracts record $107 million in donations

'The Nightingale' author sets next novel in Alaska

'The Nightingale' author sets next novel in Alaska

That leaves a bit of a mystery: What the $107 million was spent for and how much was left over - the excess, if any, to go to charity. Much of that money was distributed in May 2016, after The Washington Post pressed him about whether he had followed through on his promise. He gave $5 million, according to the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee's filing with the Federal Election Commission. The previous record was held by President Barack Obama, who raised US$53 million for his 2009 inauguration.

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. Depending on the level of contribution, donors gained access to a slate of private events with Trump and his inner circle, as well as special seating for his swearing in and other public events.

"It's also a way for those who stayed away from Trump early on - didn't give to his campaign or superPACs, didn't help fund the convention, maybe backed another horse - to get on board with the incoming administration", said Viveca Novak, spokesperson at the Center for Responsive Politics, in an email.

At least eight National Football League team owners kicked in big money for the inauguration.

Numerous companies that donated to Trump, a Republican, have significant matters pending before the US government or have been invited to White House events. Kraft's donation came via his limited liability company.

"There's no reason to think that a million-dollar contribution made after Election Day would be any less corrupting or pose any less risk of influence than a million-dollar contribution made before Election Day", he said.

"In the process, and equally important to us, was the opportunity to support several charitable organizations including local groups who traveled from our home state of MI, to participate in this great American tradition".

Trump's inaugural committee is not required to report how it spent the money on his inauguration festivities, which included more than 20 event and drew modest crowds in January. As a 501 (c)(4) - a type of nonprofit - an inaugural committee couldn't, for example, donate the money to a political campaign.

Health care, energy and beverage companies were among the many businesses giving $250,000 or more.

Companies also gave huge in-kind contributions of goods and services, including $2.1 million from AT&T for mobile equipment and software, almost $500,000 in "vehicle expenses" from General Motors, $500,000 in equipment from Microsoft, $300,000 in food and beverages from Coca Cola, $257,000 from Pepsi and more than $500,000 in delivery services from FedEx.

Numerous companies which made donations to the 2017 event also donated to Obama's prior inauguration.

Casino mogul Steve Wynn donated entertainers and production work valued at $729,000 for the Chairman's Ball, where the band Alabama and Wynn's ShowStoppers performed, according to Wynn spokesman Michael Weaver.

Trump's inaugural involved less hoopla than others in recent years.

Federal rules allow inaugural committees to file the reports electronically. PDVSA recently offered up a almost 50 percent stake in Citgo as collateral for a $1.5 billion loan from Russian firm Rosneft.

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