An unexpected big donor to Trump's inaugural haul

I assume you’ve already seen the stories making the rounds about all that money President Trump raised for the inaugural. It’s really quite scandalous sounding, at least on MSNBC. But it’s not the total haul which is quite as interesting as the list of players who kicked in some cash. CNBC makes it sound like the League of Cartoon Villains got together to pull this off.

Major corporations and business titans fueled a record fundraising haul for President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January, according to newly released disclosures.

The president’s inaugural committee raised $106.7 million, about double what was raised for President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration, a Federal Election Commission filing shows. The biggest chunk of that haul came from casino magnate and major Republican donor Sheldon Adelson, who contributed $5 million.

You can see who they’re highlighting here. Sheldon Adelson, naturally. And there’s the usual list of huge, but politically unpopular corporate outfits such as Bank of America, Boeing, Pfizer, Qualcomm and Dow Chemical, all of whom kicked in at least $1M each. But if you dig down a bit further in the records you come up with a company that the media doesn’t like to pick on so often and who is actually quite unexpected. Google. They only get a single line mention with no context offered, but they’re in there. And while they didn’t cross the seven figure threshold, it was still a pretty generous contribution. Here’s the receipt. (Click for full size image.)

That’s well over a quarter million dollars. Of course, Google can afford such generosity any time they wish these days, so why is it so surprising? Mostly because they gave every impression of doing their level best to get Hillary Clinton elected in 2016 while trying to stymie conservatives at every turn. You may recall that Google’s Eric Schmidt wasn’t just at Clinton’s “victory” party in November… he was listed as being on the staff. No surprise, considering that Schmidt also reportedly drew up a campaign strategy plan for Hillary a full year before she announced her candidacy. Alphabet Inc. (a.k.a. Google) was Clinton’s second largest contributor in the campaign. If you follow the money, as the old saying goes, the Google gang’s all here when it came to supporting Clinton’s campaign.

So what’s with this extremely generous deposit at the Bank of Trump’s Inauguration from Google? Could this be the fallout from the “oh crap” moment when they realized they’d backed the wrong horse and now they’re trying to purchase a bit of forgiveness? Not that I’m completely faulting them for the effort. That’s just the price of doing business. But I also have to wonder about two things here. First, how well is Google’s target audience responding to finding out that they dropped a bunch of cash on The Evil Trump? And second, is it really going to buy them any influence inside the White House at this point? Trump has proven that he has a long memory for those who sought to undermine him, as well as showing that he can raise plenty of money from his actual friends and supporters when he needs to.

This isn’t world shaking news, I fully admit. Just one of those moments inside the Beltway that makes you go “hmmm.”