Millions of dollars in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program went to businesses owned by major Trump donors, according to an Associated Press analysis of Small Business Administration data released this week.
- The Hill noted that as much as “$273 million in federal assistance went to more than 100 companies owned or operated by major donors to Trump and his campaigning efforts.”
- Owners of the businesses “have given at least $11.1 million since May 2015 to Trump’s campaign committees, the Republican National Committee and America First Action, a super PAC endorsed by the president.”
- The AP analysis also noted that “Each of the owners gave at least $20,000 to campaign efforts.”
- The Hill highlighted some of the companies that received the loans, including conservative website NewsMax, which “was approved for a loan of up to $5 million on April 13.” Christopher Ruddy, the company’s CEO, “has donated $525,000 to political committees backing Trump.”
- Likewise, “Muy Brands, a company in San Antonio that runs Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and Wendy’s franchises, received a loan between $5 million and $10 million.” It’s owner, James Bodenstedt, “has given $672,570 to Trump since 2016, according to the AP.”
- M Crowd Restaurant Group received between $5 million and $10 million. Ray Washburne, one of the company’s founders, “was vice chairman of the Trump Victory Committee in 2016 and gave $100,000 to the PAC last year.”
The AP noted that there is no evidence these companies received better treatment because of their donations to the president, and their loans only accounted for a portion of the $659 billion loan program.