A major pay-to-play scheme involving the Republican National Committee and President Donald Trump’s nominee for ambassador to the Bahamas has been uncovered by CBS News.
The nominee, San Diego billionaire Doug Manchester, was asked by RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel to donate half a million dollars as his confirmation in the Senate hung in the balance, according to emails obtained by CBS News.
“Would you consider putting together $500,000 worth of contributions from your family to ensure we hit our ambitious fundraising goal?” she asked him in an email.
Manchester replied and told McDaniel that he’s “not supposed to” be donating to the RNC at the same time he’s up for an ambassadorship. All the same, he said his wife would send along a check for $100,000.
He then asked McDaniel to put pressure on the Senate GOP to move his confirmation hearing along.
CBS News investigative reporter Jim Axelrod confronted Manchester about the emails and told him that “you know what this looks like.”
Manchester responded defensively and insisted that his wife’s contribution had nothing to do with getting confirmed by the Senate.
“Well — it looks like it to you,” he said. “But it’s not the facts. My wife gave out of separate funds and she, in fact, loves Donald Trump.”
The RNC said it was inappropriate for Manchester to link the donation to his ambassadorship nomination and claimed that it has since returned the money donated by Manchester.