Donald Trump, a maestro of ego and Republican presidential frontrunner, brags about political donations, but gives a slim fraction of the cash tossed around by other New York bigwigs.
“When they call, I give,” Trump said at the Republican debate this month. “And you know what? When I need something from them, two years, three years later, I call them. They are there for me.”
But he doesn’t give much. In Trump’s hometown, he’s given only about $144,000 to candidates since 1989, filings show. The developer and his associated companies have given $710,000 to state politicians and committees since 1999. By comparison, fellow New York real-estate mogul Leonard Litwin and his companies donated more than $10 million.
Trump, his family and companies have also given about $2.5 million on the federal level and to nonprofit political groups since 1989. Yet his largesse pales in comparison with that of his peers, said Blair Horner, legislative director for New York Public Interest Research Group, a government watchdog.
“Trump’s donations are relatively small potatoes,” Horner said.
Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager, said the candidate is a generous man.
“It’s been a pattern of giving over a long period of time,” he said. “He says publicly he gives to everybody who came to his office and asked.”
Among the beneficiaries was Hillary Clinton, who’s leading the pack of Democrats vying for the presidency.
Trump and relatives have given $9,500 to her federal campaigns. He also gave between $100,001 and $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation, which has raised about $2 billion since its creation in 2001. For that, Trump said, she showed up at his 2005 nuptials with husband and former President Bill Clinton in tow: