As Trump Promises Donors Big Policy Favors, Cash Pours In

As Donald Trump seeks a second presidential term, he has been promising major policy wins to donors while seeking their cash — and testing corruption laws in ways never before seen.

In April, Donald Trump asked oil and gas executives to donate $1 billion to help his 2024 presidential campaign, according to The Washington Post, which reported that he had promised the donors a host of policy favors, including a rollback of President Joe Biden’s environmental regulations and faster, painless corporate mergers.

Now, fossil fuel cash is pouring in: Last month, Energy Transfer CEO Kelcy Warren hosted a Houston-area fundraiser for Trump — and he also donated $5 million to the primary pro-Trump super PAC, Make America Great Again Inc. The oil and gas firm Continental Resources, Inc. donated $1 million to MAGA Inc. in late April.

Those donations and policy promises are part of a broader pattern: Trump has been making big promises to potential donors, while reportedly requesting huge amounts of cash — amounts that far exceed the limits on contributions that candidates can accept for their own campaigns.

Last month, Trump warned donors that Biden would allow Republicans’ 2017 tax law to expire. “The tax cuts all expire for wealthy and poor and middle-income and everything else, but they expire in another seven months and he’s not going to renew them, which means taxes are going to go up by four times,” Trump said, according to the Post. (The 2017 tax law has disproportionately benefited the wealthy.)

He subsequently told top corporate executives he wants to renew the tax programs and further slash the corporate tax rate.

Campaign finance records show that Trump’s super PAC received a combined $10 million in May from conservative billionaires Richard and Liz Uihlein. The family, which leads a cardboard box empire, received a $118 million tax deduction in one year thanks to a provision in the GOP’s 2017 tax law, according to reporting by ProPublica.

While the Uihlein family previously backed Trump challenger primary challenger Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, Liz Uihlein declared in March they would support Trump. “Everybody likes Trump’s policies,” she said.

Trump is also reaping rewards from a change in his stance on cryptocurrencies. In 2021, the former president said that bitcoin “seems like a scam.” Earlier this month, Trump reportedly pitched himself to Silicon Valley donors as “the crypto president,” and pledged to immediately halt the Biden administration’s scrutiny of the industry. He also reportedly told a group of crypto mining company executives that he wants all bitcoin mining, a highly energy-intensive process, to be done in the United States.

On Thursday, billionaire twins Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, who founded the crypto company Gemini, announced that they had each donated $1 million in bitcoin to boost Trump.

“President Donald J. Trump is the pro-Bitcoin, pro-crypto, and pro-business choice,” Tyler Winklevoss posted on X, adding: “It’s time for the crypto army to send a message to Washington. That attacking us is political suicide.”

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