Are Bill and Hillary Clinton Trump's puppets? Many reports have accurately described the "cozy" past shared by the Clintons and Donald Trump.
So much so that it is surprising no one has blended "Clinton" and "Trump" into a nickname, like celebrity couples often get -- "Brangelina" for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, for one.
Perhaps Clinton and Trump will eventually be referred to as "Clump," since they so often seem to have clumped together?
A closer look at media coverage shows that the favors between "Clump" may only go one way -- performed by the Clintons in answer to Trump's requests.
How exactly has Trump made either of the Clintons do something for him?
Numerous reports indicate that the answer to the question of how Trump influenced the behavior of the Clintons is that Trump has donated money to them on several occasions.
According to the Washington Examiner, Trump has donated to the Clinton Foundation a large amount of money — more than $100,000, and possibly up to $250,000.
He also donated to Hillary's political campaigns in 2002, 2005, 2006, and 2007.
Trump gave $125,000 to Hillary's senate campaign, via the Democratic Campaign Committee of New York.
Although Bill Clinton isn't mentioned specifically as a candidate who received money, CNN indicated that Trump has been giving to national Democratic candidates since 1990. Bill's presidency ran from 1993-2001.
"For the record, Trump has given $541,650 to federal Democratic candidates and fundraising committees going back to 1990, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics."The next question is, what have the Clintons done for Trump, allegedly because they received his money?
Then-President Bill Clinton appointed Trump's sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in 1999, according to the Political Insider.
His sister, Barry, is a Republican, and was a Reagan-appointed federal trial judge, as explained in the Washington Post.
Media reports have not commented on whether that appointment was linked to Trump's donations. But many stories have documented Trump's bold claims about how his money has influenced the Clintons in other ways.
For example, Hillary Clinton attended Trump's wedding vows in 2005, and was seated in the front row, where she could easily see and be seen. Bill Clinton attended the reception.According to the New York Post, "When Hillary Clinton and husband Bill attended Donald Trump's 2005 wedding, their presence was their present."
Hillary confirms that the Clintons did not give the Trumps a wedding gift.
Trump seemed to insinuate that having the Clintons at his wedding celebration was a way to show off to guests, and he directly said that he got Bill and Hillary there because of his donations.
"As a contributor, I demanded that [the Clintons] be there—they had no choice and that's what's wrong with our country," said Trump, as reported in the Daily Beast.
In addition to these specific actions that may or may not have been linked to donations, Trump has long been known for touting that his money gets politicians such as the Clintons to do many things for him — favors that the public may not be made aware of.
ABC News reiterated one exchange, where then-presidential candidate Rand Paul said to Trump, "When you give, [politicians] do whatever the hell you want them to do."
"You better believe it," Trump responded.
But, if it is not the case that Bill and Hillary Clinton are Trump's puppets, controlled by strings made of money, then why are there so many ties "clumping" the three of them together?Some people see the Clintons and Trump as genuine friends. They cite Bill Clinton and Trump golfing together, the friendship of their daughters, Ivanka Trump and Chelsea Clinton, and compliments exchanged between them, such as when Trump said, "Bill Clinton was a great president," according to CBS. In fact, many people, including former presidential candidate Jeb Bush, have asserted that the Clintons and Trump are so close that their presidential rivalry is an act.
The following was reported by the Washington Post.
"Maybe Donald negotiated a deal with his buddy @HillaryClinton," Jeb Bush tweeted. "Continuing this path will put her in the White House."
It remains to be seen whether, on one hand, the Clintons and Trump are friends, possibly fooling the public in order to put one of them in the Oval Office, or, on the other, that Trump's money, not friendship, has influenced the Clintons' favorable behavior toward Trump.
What is clear is that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are wealthy, powerful people who have a fiscal-political relationship, and who are asking millions of Americans -- who will never experience the wealth and power held by either of them -- to vote one of them into the next presidency.
Also becoming more clear is the fact that "[t]ogether, Clinton and Trump are the two most unpopular presidential candidates in memory," reported the LA Times.
"In an April NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, only about a quarter of Americans had a favorable view of Trump. That would mean doom for any other candidate — and may still, except that Clinton had a favorable rating among only about a third of the country. Majorities of Americans, in other words, dislike both of them."If the Clintons have been acting out of friendship for Trump, and not in response to his money, how will the intertwined "Clump" history play out with either Clinton or Trump in the White House?
And if Bill and Hillary Clinton are Trump's puppets controlled by financial strings, what would the Clintons do for President Trump? What might Trump urge President Clinton and the First Gentleman to do?
In this presidential election, voters are having to consider the closeness of two candidates who declare they are worlds apart.
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