Before Criticizing American Elite, President Trump Thanked Them for $100 Million Donation

PHOTO: President Donald Trump addresses the crowd after taking the oath of allegiance during his swearing-in ceremony, Jan. 20, 2017 at the Capitol in Washington.PlayMandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
WATCH Before Chastising Elites, Trump Thanked Them for $100 Million Donation

In his Inaugural Address Friday, President Donald Trump harshly criticized the Washington establishment.

Interested in Donald Trump?

Add Donald Trump as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Donald Trump news, video, and analysis from ABC News.
Add Interest

“The establishment protected itself but not the citizens of the country,” he said.

But just 15 hours earlier, at an exclusive black-tie dinner, Trump saluted the corporate bosses and wealthy elite who had contributed close to $100 million for his inaugural committee.

“I want to thank all our donors,” he said to the donors whose names, under the law, can be kept secret for at least three months.

Each donor left the dinner with the President-elect carrying a large Tiffany blue gift bag.

The biggest donors were seated near the Trump family and members of Congress during the Inaugural swearing-in.

Later, many of them were at the Trump hotel bar where waiters used sabers to cut off the top of expensive bottles of champagne.

The $100 million raised by the Trump Inaugural committee is almost twice as much as was raised by President Obama’s team for is first inauguration in 2009.

The former chairman of the Obama Inaugural committee, Steve Kerrigan, said he could not understand why the Trump people appear to have raised far more than was needed for what was described as a scaled-down, “workmanlike” inaugural with far fewer balls and events than the Obama inauguration.

“The $100 million is far too much,” said Kerrigan. “They need maybe $30 million so the additional $70 million or whatever it’s going to be, I question where that’s going to go, what they’re going to do with it.”

Trump Inaugural committee officials say any money left over will be donated to charity.

ABC News' Randy Kreider, Cho Park, Alex Hosenball, Paul Blake and Ali Dukakis contributed to this report.

Comments