Donald Trump doesn't want to be seen as anyone's puppet. Unlike his rival Hillary Clinton, he has disavowed super PACs, the fundraising organizations that attract millions in donations from wealthy supporters.The Republican candidate, who has put in $8 million of his own money and guaranteed loans worth $47 million to fund his campaign, has argued that he can't be controlled by special interests this way. But that didn't stop supporters from donating millions to pro-Trump super PACs this last quarter. (See also, Top 10 Contributors to the Clinton Campaign)
The following are the top donors to Trump's campaign:
1. Robert Mercer, Renaissance Technologies - $13.5 million
The CEO of New York-based hedge fund Renaissance Technologies has contributed millions of his fortune to conservative causes over the years. This election cycle, Mercer had started a super PAC to support Ted Cruz and Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway managed it. When Cruz dropped out, Mercer changed the name of the super PAC from Keep the Promise 1 to Make America Number 1 and focused on supporting Trump's campaign.
Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is the CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corporation. He and his wife both gave $5 million each to the Future45 super PAC. Adelson also gave $1.5 million to the Republican National Convention this year. (See also, Republican National Convention 2016 Donor's Names Released)
Linda McMahon co-founded the WWE franchise with her husband Vince. She gave $6 million to the pro-Trump super PAC Rebuilding America Now, making her one of the biggest donors to Trump. McMahon, who runs a company that promotes women in business, has called Trump's comments about women "deplorable." She and her husband have given $5 million to the the Trump Foundation in the past, according to The Washington Post.
4. Bernard Marcus, Retired - $7 million
87-year-old Bernard Marcus is the co-founder and former CEO of Home Depot. He currently sits on the board of the Republican Jewish Coalition. He gave to the Rebuilding America Now and Make America Number 1 super PAC.
5. Geoffrey Palmer, G.H. Palmer Associates - $2 million
Palmer is a real estate magnate whose buildings in Los Angeles are known for their characteristic "fauxtalian" style. He donated to Trump's campaign through the Rebuilding America Now super PAC.
6. Ronald M Cameron, Mountaire Corp. - $2 million
Cameron is CEO of an Arkansas-based poultry company called Mountaire Corp. He previously contributed $3 million to Mike Huckabee's bid for president and donated to the pro-Trump Rebuilding America Now super PAC.
7. Peter Thiel, Palantir Technologies - $1.25 million
Venture capitalist Peter Thiel plans to donate to Donald Trump's campaign through super PACs and the official campaign committee, according to a spokesperson. As a delegate for Trump at the Republican National Convention, Thiel delivered a speech in which he expressed his frustration with America's "broken economy." Thiel is also a director at Facebook (FB). See also, (Mark Zuckerberg Responds to Peter Thiel's Donation to Donald Trump )
Buckley is the CEO of Actua Corporation, a publicly traded venture capital firm that acquires and builds cloud companies. He donated to the Rebuilding America Now super PAC.
9. Cherna Moskowitz, Hawaiian Gardens Casino - $1 million
Cherna Moskowitz is the president of Hawaiian Gardens Casino and the Irving Moskowitz Fundation. She donated to Mercer's Maker America Number 1 super PAC. News stories, including one published by Mother Jones in 2000, have said the Moskowitzs operated a bingo club in an impoverished town as a non-profit and used the funds to support Jewish settlers in Palestine. In a report about Cherna's late husband Irving's death, The Times of Israel wrote, "Moskowitz donated millions of dollars to the Elad Foundation and Ateret Cohanim, two groups that have helped some 3,000 Israeli Jews move into the Old City and surrounding Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem."
10. Peter Zieve, Electroimpact - $1 million
Peter Zieve is the founder and president of Electroimpact, a manufacturing firm that counts Boeing and Airbus among its customers. In April, The Seattle Times published offensive emails sent by Zieve to his employees. Congratulating an employee on a the birth of a child, Zieve wrote, “I note that 381,000 terrorist savages have gotten into Europe this year and if we don’t make more babies the light will go out on civilization.” He gave money to Rebuilding America Now.