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Donald Trump on the corrupting effect of money in politics

This page is meant to collect references to Donald Trump describing the corrupting influence of money in politics, and his positions regarding that corruption. Your help gathering source material is greatly appreciated. Your discipline in minimizing editorial comment is strongly requested. This resource is meant as a "just the facts" page. Please help keep it like that.

First Republican Debate (6 Aug 2015)[1]

BAIER: Mr. Trump [...]you’ve also supported a host of other liberal policies.

Use — you’ve also donated to several Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton included, Nancy Pelosi.

You explained away those donations saying you did that to get business-related favors.

And you said recently, “When you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do.”

TRUMP: You’d better believe it.

BAIER: So what specifically did…

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That’s true.

BAIER: — they do?

TRUMP: If I ask them, if I need them, you know, most of the people on this stage I’ve given to, just so you understand, a lot of money.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you’re welcome to give me (INAUDIBLE) Donald if you’d like.

TRUMP: Many of them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Actually, to be clear…

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: — he supported Charlie Crist.

TRUMP: Not much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Charlie…

TRUMP: But I…

TRUMP: I have good…

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: — this campaign, I hope you will give to me.

TRUMP: Good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.

TRUMP: Sounds good. Sounds good to me, Governor.

I will tell you that our system is broken. I gave to many people, before this, before two months ago, I was a businessman. I give to everybody. When they call, I give.

And do you know what?

When I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me. ... TRUMP: And that’s a broken system.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you get from Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi?

TRUMP: Well, I’ll tell you what, with Hillary Clinton, I said be at my wedding and she came to my wedding.

You know why?

She didn’t have a choice because I gave. I gave to a foundation that, frankly, that foundation is supposed to do good.

I didn’t know her money would be used on private jets going all over the world. It was.

Second Republican Debate (18 Sep 2015)[2]

TRUMP: No. I just will tell you that, you know, Jeb made the statement. I’m not only referring to him. I — a lot of money was raised by a lot of different people that are standing up here. And the donors, the special interests, the lobbyists have very strong power over these people.

I’m spending all of my money, I’m not spending — I’m not getting any — I turned down — I turn down so much, I could have right now from special interests and donors, I could have double and triple what he’s got. I’ve turned it down. I turned down last week $5 million from somebody.

So I will tell you I understand the game, I’ve been on the other side all of my life. And they have a lot of control over our politicians. And I don’t say that favorably, and I’m not sure if there’s another system, but I say this. I am not accepting any money from anybody. Nobody has control of me other than the people of this country.

I’m going to do the right thing.

Third Republican Debate (28 Oct 2015)[3]

TRUMP: And if I could say just one thing. I am the only person in either campaign that's self-funding. I'm putting up 100 percent of my own money. And right now, I will be putting up a tremendous -- so far, I've put up less than anybody and I have the best results. Wouldn't that be nice if the country could do that?

But I will be putting -- I will be putting up, you know, tremendous amounts of money. SuperPacs are a disaster. They're a scam. They cause dishonesty. And you better get rid of them because they are causing a lot of bad decisions to be made by some very good people. And I'm not blaming these folks -- well, I guess I could.

(LAUGHTER)

Very good people are making very bad decisions right now. And if anything comes out of this whole thing with some of these nasty and ridiculous questions, I will tell you, you better get rid of the SuperPacs because they causing a big problem with this country, not only in dishonesty and what's going on, but also in a lot of bad decisions that have been made

for the benefit of lobbyists and special interests.

Press Conference in Iowa (25 Aug 2015)[4]

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there any specific change in the law you made to limit money in politics?

TRUMP: Money in politics. Well, I think there should be frankly more transparency. Because I see a guy like Jeb Bush with $114 million which is now higher and nobody even knows who put the money in. And they all control him like a little puppet. Okay? I know half the people. I mean, I don't know who they are because I can't find it out but as soon as they do, I will know most of them. They're friends of mine. I used to be there. I used to be the king of that. Okay? I know the system better than anybody. The fact is that whether it's Jeb or Hillary or any of them, they're all controlled by these people. And the people that control them are the special interests, the lobbyists and the donors and they're controlled.

You know what the nice part about me? I don't need anybody's money. I mean, if a woman sends me the $7, I take it because that's great, because she's investing in this country in a proper way, not an improper way. But I don't need the money. It's a beautiful thing. So, if I say that I don't want Ford building in this case in Mexico or somewhere else, in all fairness, China, I want them to build here, I am not going to be hit by the Ford lobby and by all the other lobbies that you know who they are better than I do. They're not going to hit me. Because they didn't give ten cents to my campaign because I don't want their money. So, it's very important.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But should it be limited legally --

TRUMP: I don't know about the limits. I think the most important thing is transparency. You have to know who you're dealing with. And right now you don't. You don't. And I'm talking about PACs in all fairness. I have good friends who like to put money into PACs. Many friends, I have some enemies too, by the way. But I have many friends. They put money in PACs. And you need transparency. You need to know who is putting up what. So when they start making deals in a year or two years or three years, you know what is happening.