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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s controversial campaign could just be a ruse to sabotage the GOP, said U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla. After all, the billionaire is so friendly with Hillary Clinton, Trump invited her to his nuptials.
"I think there's a small possibility that this gentleman is a phantom candidate," Curbelo told Miami radio host Roberto Rodríguez Tejera on July 10, 2015. "Mr. Trump has a close friendship with Bill and Hillary Clinton. They were at his last wedding. He has contributed to the Clintons' foundation. He has contributed to Mrs. Clinton's Senate campaigns. All of this is very suspicious."
We’re not going to rule on whether Trump and the Clintons are friends -- as the old saying goes, "If you want a friend in politics, get a dog!" -- but we did want to find out if Curbelo had his wedding anecdote right.
The short answer is, yes, the Clintons did attend Trump’s 2005 wedding to Melania Knauss.
Well, current Democratic presidential candidate Hillary was at the ceremony. Former President Bill didn’t show up until the reception. Because who wouldn’t want to participate in that Electric Slide lineup?
It was the then-58-year-old Trump’s third wedding. Before he got hitched to Slovenian former model Knauss, who was 34 at the time, he had been married first to Ivana Trump and then Marla Maples.
Clinton had a front-pew seat at the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach for the wedding on Jan. 22, 2005. People magazine said that the 450-person guest list included former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and media and entertainment personalities like Katie Couric, Matt Lauer, Simon Cowell, Regis Philbin, Kelly Ripa, Star Jones and Barbara Walters.
The fun really started after the ceremony in the ballrom at Trump’s own Mar-a-Lago Club resort in Palm Beach. Bill Clinton showed up in time for a party that included performances by Billy Joel, Paul Anka and Tony Bennett. The reception also featured a 200-pound, 5-foot-tall wedding cake.
As for whether Trump contributed to the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton’s senate campaigns, Trump has admitted as much.
"I’m a businessman, I contribute to everybody," Trump told Fox & Friends on July 15. (PunditFact has found to be the case.) "That’s part of the problem with the system. I contribute to everybody. When I need Hillary, she was there. If I say go to my wedding, they go to my wedding. I contribute to everybody and you know what, that’s part of the problem with our system."
Trump told the U.K.’s Daily Mail in May that he had never gotten any favors for his donations to the Clintons, "but they do kiss my ass" to get that money. He also has called Hillary Clinton "the worst secretary of state in the history of the United States." Meanwhile, Bill Clinton told Jon Stewart a month later that The Donald had been "uncommonly nice to Hillary and me."
Curbelo said Bill and Hillary Clinton were at Donald Trump's last wedding. Bill Clinton only made the reception, but Hillary Clinton did have a seat in the first row at the church in 2005. Both rubbed elbows with the stars at the reception. We rate Curbelo’s statement True.
Miami Herald Naked Politics blog, "Miami Republican congressman posits Donald Trump candidacy may be Democratic plot," July 13, 2015
People, "Donald Trump Weds Melania Knauss," Jan. 23, 2005
Daily Mail, "Hillary and Bill Clinton 'kiss my *ss' for foundation dough, says Donald Trump – who gave at least $100,000," May 15, 2015
Politico, "Donald Trump has spent years courting Hillary and other Dems," June 16, 2015
Bloomberg, "FYI: Hillary Clinton Had a Front-Pew Seat at Donald Trump's Wedding," June 16, 2015
The Hill, "Bill Clinton: Trump has been 'uncommonly nice' to Hillary," June 18, 2015
CNN, "Knocking Trump, Clinton implies 'inflammatory' remarks can spur shootings," June 19, 2015
E! Online, "Bill Clinton Talks About Donald Trump and His Presidential Bid...So, Is He Voting for Wife Hillary Clinton?," June 18, 2015
MSNBC, "Donald Trump’s change of heart on Hillary Clinton," July 8, 2015
PunditFact, "Donald Trump's campaign contributions to Democrats and Republicans," July 9, 2015
Fox News Insider, "Is Trump a Liberal Mole? The Donald Reacts to GOP Lawmaker's Claim," July 15, 2015
Interview with Wadi Gaitan, Curbelo spokesman, July 15, 2015
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