Donald Trump became President of the United States in January of 2017 after defeating Hilary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. The Republican disavowed Super PACs in his 2016 run, and invested at least $8 million of his own money in his election efforts. He also received a lot of support from some influential hedge funds, companies and billionaires.
The following were the top donors to Trump's 2016 campaign, according to OpenSecrets.org , which tracks campaign contributions:
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.
2. Sheldon Adelson and Miriam Adelson, Las Vegas Sands Corporation (LVS) - $10 million
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.
3. Linda McMahon, World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.- $6 million
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. She and her husband have given $5 million to the the Trump Foundation in the past, according to The Washington Post. Trump appointed McMahon to run the Small Business Administration, where she served from 2017-2019.
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 is also a director at Facebook (FB).
8. Walter Buckley Jr, Actua Corporation (ACTA) - $1 million
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. Cherna is the widow of Dr. Hauptmann. Irving Moskowitz, a physician and philanthropist, who died in 2016.
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. He and his wife Maria also gave money to Rebuilding America Now.