The scramble to shape his administration underway, President-elect Donald Trump's team has simultaneously begun turning its attention to raising tens of millions of dollars for festivities related to his Washington inauguration. Trump, who vowed during the campaign to "drain the swamp" of special interests corrupting Washington, has set USD 1 million donation limits for corporations and no limits for individual donors, according to an official on the Presidential Inaugural Committee with direct knowledge of tentative fundraising plans. At the same time, Trump's inaugural committee will not accept money from registered lobbyists, in line with his ban on hiring lobbyists for his nascent administration. Barack Obama set stricter limits on donations for his first inauguration, in 2009, holding individual donors to USD 50,000 each and taking no money from corporations or labour unions, as well as none from lobbyists and some other groups. Plenty of corporate executives, though, gave individually and often at the maximum amount.
And he opened the spigots for his 2013 inauguration, setting no limits on corporate or individual donations. The new details, confirmed yesterday on the condition of anonymity because the official was not authorised to disclose private deliberations, came as Trump gathered with family at his Palm Beach estate Mar-a-Lago on Thanksgiving. Trump's team would not say exactly which family members joined him for dinner, although he arrived in Florida earlier in the week with his wife, Melania, and youngest son, 10-year-old Barron. They dined with other Mar-a-Lago members from a Thanksgiving menu that featured "Mr Trump's wedge salad" and main course offerings like oven-roasted turkey, leg of lamb, Chilean sea bass, and braised short ribs, according to a menu provided by a spokeswoman. The dessert options included pumpkin pie, toasted coconut cake, warm brownie pockets and hot apple crisp. It was a working holiday of sorts for Trump, who suggested on Twitter that he was engaged in trying to prevent an Indiana air conditioning company from moving jobs to Mexico. He injected the first signs of diversity into his Cabinet-to-be on Wednesday, tapping South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to serve as US ambassador to the United Nations and charter school advocate Betsy DeVos to lead the Department of Education. They are the first women selected for top-level administration posts. And Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, would be his first minority selection after a string of announcements of white men.
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