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American Companies, Even Those Critical of Trump, Gave Big Bucks to Inauguration

Emily Stewart

Corporate America shelled out big bucks for President Trump's inauguration.

Trump's inaugural committee raised $106.7 million for his swearing-in festivities, Federal Election Commission filings show, about double the amount raised for former President Barack Obama's first inauguration in 2009. And whatever their misgivings about Trump in the past, many American companies appeared to have gotten over it -- filings show they donated millions of dollars to his inauguration.

Tech giant AT&T gave upwards of $2 million to the committee, some of which was listed as an in-kind payment for mobile equipment and software. Trump got million-dollar donations from Qualcomm , Dow Chemical , Madison Square Garden Company , Bank of America , Boeing and Pfizer .

John Hess, CEO of Hess Corporation , donated $1 million, as did mega-rich figures like New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and billionaire investors Steven Cohen, Charles Schwab and Robert Mercer.

Casino magnate and Republican donor Sheldon Adelson gave $5 million, the largest single contribution ever given to an inauguration.

American Financial Group , Citgo Petroleum, Microsoft , JPMorgan Chase , Exxon , Intel and Amgen and gave $500,000.

Anheuser Busch , Ford , Nextera Energy NEE, Comcast , Charter Communications , Fidelity National Financial and Pepsi gave $250,000.

So did Stephen Schwarzman, Blackstone CEO and Trump adviser, and John Paulson, billionaire investor and economic adviser to Trump's presidential campaign.

Liberty Interactive and Liberty media gave $250,000 each, and their chairman, John Malone, gave an additional $250,000.

A number of the companies that donated to the president's inauguration have crossed paths with him elsewhere, and not always in the best light.

Microsoft joined about 100 other tech companies in signing onto a legal briefing opposing Trump's immigration ban in court. Anheuser Busch ran a Super Bowl commercial telling the story of its founder's immigration to the United States.

Trump strong-armed Ford into scrapping its plans for a Mexico plant and has pressured the company to create jobs in the United States.

With other corporate donors, the relationship has been a rather cozy one. Dow Chemical's Andrew Liveris heads the administration's council on manufacturing, and Boeing's Dennis Muilenburg has met with the president several times, reportedly convincing him to change his stance on the Export-Import Bank. As mentioned, Schwarzman has emerged as one of Trump's top advisers. Boeing and Pfizer are part of a coalition of companies pushing for the border-adjustment tax.

Trump reportedly considered JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon to head the Treasury Department, though he ultimately went with Steven Mnuchin. Of course, he did tap former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.

In a press briefing on Wednesday, Press Secretary Sean Spicer called in the inaugural committee's record-breaking fundraising a "time-honored tradition" when asked whether the president feels conflicted about the funds.

"I think a lot of Americans and companies and entities are proud to support the inaugural," he said. "And I think that you've seen that over time, the people who have been -- there are a lot of people who really take pride in helping us show the world a peaceful transformation of power."

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