Donald Trump would prefer that foreign Muslims stay out of America—but his campaign doesn’t appear to mind if they contribute a few hundred dollars to get him elected as US president.
Shahriyar Nasir, a self-described “proud Muslim” from Toronto, Canada, who is involved with a group that helps Syrian refugees, contributed $225 to Trump’s presidential campaign in April, according to the Center for Public Integrity (CPI). Although unintentionally so, the donation, as it does not come from a US citizen or green-card holder, is illegal under federal election laws. In response to CPI’s findings, Trump’s campaign will be returning the money.
Nasir wasn’t trying to make a political statement with his contribution, he told CPI. A friend who wanted to exercise more made a bet with him that for every day he misses a work-out, he’d owe money to an “anti-charity.” It ended up being about 300 Canadian dollars ($225), and the money landed in Trump’s coffers. Nasir and his friend mistakenly sent the donation to Trump’s campaign, and not to his foundation.
In a video about the experience, that is now private, Nasir’s friend points to his biceps to joke about his muscles and says, according to CPI: “The lack of guns here is a testament to how great your wall is going to be.”
Campaigns typically monitor where their contributions are coming from, to protect themselves from violating federal campaign finance laws. Earlier this year, the campaign repeatedly solicited money illegally from foreign politicians, sending them fundraising emails to their officials addresses.