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Billionaires and corporations helped fund Donald Trump’s transition

Transition effort led by nonprofit group

For the transition, candidates set up separate nonprofit entities under Section 501(c)(4) of the tax code.

Those entities are permitted to accept contributions in increments of $5,000 or less, but because they also accept public money for transition expenses, must disclose the names of contributors to the public.

That report, filed with the General Services Administration, was due Feb. 19. The GSA released it today, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed this week by the Center for Public Integrity.

The document includes contributor names, dates and amounts. But — unlike standard campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission — Trump’s transition funder list does not include contributors’ addresses, employers or occupations, making it more difficult to verify the identities of contributors.

The report didn’t include a detailed listing of expenditures, but included a summary table breaking expenses into categories that showed the transition nonprofit spent the bulk of the money on payroll and tax expenses, travel and relocation expenses, and legal and consulting expenses.

Trump and some of his closest advisers personally participated in transition fundraisers.

Trump personally headlined a December gathering in New York City that reportedly drew nearly 1,000 people and raised at least $4 million, and his campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, spoke at one in Buffalo, New York.

Pence, who headed the transition effort, has said fundraising was so successful, the transition will return 20 percent of the taxpayer funds allocated to it to the government.

Congress set aside $13.3 million to cover pre-election transition expenses for both major party candidates, as well as roughly $7 million in post-election support, according to the Center for Presidential Transition.

For comparison: President Barack Obama raised about $4 million for his transition after being elected in 2008, according to the nonpartisan Center for Presidential Transition, part of the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service.

That transition cost a total of about $9.3 million, in part funded by public dollars. Obama also rejected donations from federal lobbyists, labor unions, corporations and political committees.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Trump transition report.

This story was co-published with NBC News and Public Radio International.

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