President Donald Trump’s inauguration accepted a big donation from a Russian-American businessman whose ties to Russian state-owned companies forced the Republican National Committee to return a $250,000 check he sent them in 2000.
In a Wall Street Journal report on the big donors who paid for Trump’s inauguration, the publication notes that Trump’s inauguration fund received $1 million from Alexander Shustorovich, a businessman who has drawn controversy over his relationships with Russian government officials and state-owned businesses.
In fact, the Journal notes that Shustorovich’s ties to Russian oligarchs “prompted the U.S. to refuse to allow him to be part of a uranium deal two decades ago, on national-security grounds” and also “led the Republican National Committee to return a $250,000 check from him in 2000.”
“The determination was made that the funds in question weren’t worth the trouble,” former RNC spokesman Terry Holt told the Journal back in 2000.
In total, Trump’s inauguration fund raised a record $106 million, which nonetheless couldn’t help the president draw the record crowds that former President Barack Obama got back in 2009.