“Trump courts donors with eye on 2020”

Politico on how the plutocrats are united:

Trump boasted that as president he wouldn’t be beholden to donors because he was wealthy himself and poured $66 million from his own fortune into his campaign, which didn’t get much support from big-money super PACs. His side was outspent dramatically by the campaign and super PACs supporting his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, but Trump benefited from an unprecedented wave of free publicity that swirled around his unconventional circus-like campaign.

Inside GOP finance circles, there’s a growing recognition that Trump might not be able to run that type of asymmetrical campaign after four years of the types of scandals and critical media coverage that have buffeted him during his early days in the White House. So Trump and his team have set about systematically courting the biggest GOP moneymen with the types of perks typically used to win over new donors and keep old ones happy, among them access and appointments.

Trump has tapped or is considering mega-donors who supported his rivals for all manner of positions, from his pick for deputy commerce secretary, Todd Ricketts, to his stalled pick for director of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, Anthony Scaramucci, to his likely pick for ambassador to Canada, Kelly Knight Craft.

Meanwhile, his cabinet is a who’s who of Trump’s top donors, including Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon, who gave $6 million to a pro-Trump super PAC, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who was Trump’s campaign finance director and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who gave more than $200,000 to aid Trump’s efforts. Trump’s withdrawn pick for labor secretary, Andy Puzder, was also a major donor.

“Trump has been very methodical and clever,” said one person who works closely with major Republican donors. “The process began within days of the election.”

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