On Sunday, GOP presidential candidate and real estate tycoon Donald Trump did what many do in August on the east coast: he spent a day at the shore with his family. In this case, he was visiting with the in-laws of his daughter Ivanka, Charles and Seryl Kushner, parents to Trump’s son-in-law Jared, the owner and publisher of the New York Observer.
This visit was no ordinary social call. The Kushners were hosting an intimate meet-and-greet on Trump’s behalf at their seaside estate on the New Jersey shore weeks after injecting $100,000 into Trump’s Make America Great Again super PAC.
Starting with his June announcement that he was seeking the 2016 Republican nomination for president, Donald Trump has been fond of reminding supporters, voters, the press – anyone who will listen, really – that he is rich. And although his campaign seemed at first to be a parade of events intended to drive that point home over and over again, Trump has used his personal wealth to stake a compelling claim in the age of dark money: that his means make him independent from the interests and donors who ordinarily set the policy priorities and agendas in Washington, D.C. “I’m using my own money. I’m not using the lobbyists. I’m not using donors. I don’t care. I’m really rich,” Trump said in June. It’s a position Trump has been sharpening into an attack on his rivals. Last week at the Iowa State Fair he mocked former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for being a “puppet” to his donors. “He raises $100 million, so what does $100 million mean? $100 million means he's doing favors for so many people, it means lobbyists, it means special interests, it means donors,” Trump said.
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