President Trump and his daughter Ivanka both made financial contributions to Kamala Harris’s campaign when she was running for reelection as California’s attorney general before she became a senator — and, eventually, as of Tuesday, a Democratic vice-presidential candidate. The donations were originally noted by McClatchy DC when Harris was running for president in the Democratic primaries last year.
According to campaign-finance records, Donald Trump donated a total of $6,000 to Harris’s attorney-general reelection campaigns in 2011 ($5,000) and 2013 ($1,000). Ivanka Trump gave Harris’s campaign $2,000 in 2014. In 2015, months after the elder Trump began spreading the baseless birther conspiracy theory about President Obama on television, Harris donated the $6,000 to a nonprofit that advocates for Central Americans’ rights, her presidential campaign manager told McClatchy last year.
Harris also received a $2,000 donation from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for her 2016 Senate campaign, Politico noted last year.
The donations from Donald Trump and Mnuchin were a reason for criticism against Harris for some on the left last year. Trump’s donations also came up in attacks on him by Senator Ted Cruz, his then-rival, during his run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.
Harris is far from the only Democratic lawmaker to have gotten money from the Trumps. Both have also donated to New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s campaigns and, from Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, New Jersey senator Cory Booker’s. Donald Trump, who donated mostly to Democrats up until 2011 — including repeated contributions to the campaigns of Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid, and Hillary Clinton — has defended his political donations to both Democrats and Republicans, claiming they were strategic moves to buy influence. Most of the Democrats Trump has donated to at the state or federal level have been in the Northeast, with the exception of Harris, Reid, and a few more in other parts of the country.
On Tuesday, Trump campaign spokesperson Katrina Pierson tried to spin the president’s two donations to Harris as proof positive that Trump is not racist:
After Trump began involving himself in GOP politics and causes, starting around 2011, his all-time donations to Republicans eventually far surpassed his all-time donations to Democrats, according to Ballotpedia.