Real estate mogul Donald Trump on Wednesday brushed off speculation that the Democratic Party orchestrated his presidential run to disrupt the GOP primary process.
Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) said in a recent local radio interview that he thought there was a “small possibility” Trump could be a Democratic plant in the Republican presidential field.
“I think there’s a small possibility that this gentleman is a phantom candidate,” Curbelo said, as quoted by The Miami Herald. “Mr. Trump has a close friendship with Bill and Hillary Clinton. They were at his last wedding. He has contributed to the Clintons’ foundation. He has contributed to Mrs. Clinton’s Senate campaigns. All of this is very suspicious.”
Trump shot down that theory on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”
“Believe me — from Hillary’s standpoint, the one person she doesn’t want running against her is Donald Trump,” he said of the Democratic presidential frontrunner.
The former reality TV star argued that contributing to the Clintons and others was just the price of doing business prior to entering the political arena.
“I’m a businessman. I contribute to everybody,” Trump said. “When I needed Hillary, she was there. If I say ‘go to my wedding,’ they go to my wedding.”
In his presidential announcement speech, Trump had emphasized his ability to self-fund his campaign and eschew donors.
“That’s part of the problem with our system,” he said on “Fox & Friends.” “They’re going to do for me and all their donors things that aren’t necessarily good for the country, but that are good for their donors.”
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.