During a Tuesday interview with The Young Turks‘ Cenk Uygur, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said he does not know who donates money to him.
He made this assertion after Uygur pointed out that Manchin voted to repeal the “stream protection rule,” and it turns out that Manchin’s biggest donor — First Energy — had gotten “in some degree of trouble for putting arsenic in a pond.” He asked Manchin if the fact that his largest donor had gotten in trouble played any part in his voting to eliminate the rule.
Manchin responded, “I know it’s hard to believe and I know it’s hard for people too, [but] I don’t have any idea who gives me money. I don’t solicit from the standpoint of, ‘If you do this for me,’ quid quo pro, that’s never been me. That’s not my political mantra at all.” Manchin went on to say he voted to repeal the “stream protection rule” because it appeared to represent regulatory overreach.
The sticking point with Manchin’s reply to Uygur is the claim that Manchin does not “have any idea who gives [him] money.”
On July 22, 2013 — just over 3 months after Manchin’s Micheal Bloomberg-supported gun control push failed in the Senate — Manchin attended a fundraiser held for him by Bloomberg. Breitbart News called Manchin’s office at the time, and Communications Director Jonathan Kott confirmed that Manchin did attend the event.
The fundraiser was $1,000 a plate. Moreover, CNN reported that the fundraiser was scheduled to be held at Bloomberg’s mansion and tickets were sold in advance. It seems an event of that magnitude at a venue like Bloomberg’s mansion would be hard to forget, yet Manchin says he does not “have any idea who gives [him] money.”
It should be noted that Manchin is a Democrat running for re-election in 2018 in a state that shifted from blue to red under Barack Obama, a state which voted for President Donald Trump in a landslide. West Virginia is pro-gun to the core, yet Manchin has spent his time in the Senate pushing gun control. He says he does not “have any idea who gives [him] money,” but on July 22, 2013, he was at Micheal Bloomberg’s mansion for a fundraiser.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.