Donations are not, apparently, destiny.
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Friday that “America needs to know” about political donations made by members of the team led by special counsel Robert Mueller, which is investigating potential Russian interference into the 2016 election, President Donald Trump’s financial dealings, and whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin.
Three members of Mueller’s team have given $56,000 to Democrats over the course of the last three decades, more than half of which was donated by just one lawyer. The other two donated the maximum donation of $2,700 to Hillary Clinton in 2016, according to a CNN report.
“People should know what folks’ pasts and motivations and political motivations are,” Conway said on Fox and Friends Friday. “These weren’t minor donations as I have said on this show and elsewhere before, under a hill of criticism. These are significant donations by members of that team. They clearly wanted the other person to win.”
Conway’s insinuation is that the donations to Democratic candidates prove bias against the Republican Trump administration and is certainly part of efforts by Trump lawyers and aids to delegitimize Mueller’s investigation, as The New York Times reported last week.
But Trump’s own history of campaign donations is proof that political donations are not political destiny.
According to Federal Election Commission records, Trump himself has donated more to Democrats than all three members of Mueller’s team combined, with donations to Democratic candidates and to political action committees supporting Democrats totaling more than $260,000 over the last 20 years.
Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, both of whom now serve in the White House as advisers to the president, and Trump’s newly-installed communications director Anthony Scaramucci have all also individually made donations to Democrats and Democratic PACs greater than the total donated by members of Mueller’s team.
Since 1997, Ivanka Trump has donated more than $96,000 to Democrats, Kushner more than $130,000, and Scaramucci nearly $380,000, according to FEC records.
Interestingly enough, both Trumps, Kushner, and Scaramucci have all also donated to Hillary Clinton over the years. Trump donated $4,800 to his former rival between 2002 and 2009, while his daughter donated $4,400 to the former Secretary of State between 2006 and 2007.
Kushner donated $6,000 to support Clinton’s Senate campaign between 2000 and 2003, and Scaramucci donated $6,600 to Clinton between 2005 and 2007.
The Trumps, Kushner, and Scaramucci all donated to current Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) as well.
President Trump also donated to Former Vice President Joe Biden’s (D-DE) campaign in 2001, to former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) campaign in 1998, and to disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY).
Both Trumps, Kushner, and Scaramucci have also been active donors to Republican candidates, according to FEC records.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) defended Mueller on Monday, saying on a Wisconsin-based radio show that Mueller was “anything but” a Democratic partisan.
The White House’s attack on special counsel’s team for donating to Democrats doesn’t add up was originally published in ThinkProgress on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.