Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz speaks at the California Republican Party 2016 Convention in Burlingame, Calif., Saturday, April 30, 2016. Jeff Chiu /  AP Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz speaks at the California Republican Party 2016 Convention in Burlingame, Calif., Saturday, April 30, 2016. Jeff Chiu /  AP

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz speaks at the California Republican Party 2016 Convention in Burlingame, Calif., Saturday, April 30, 2016. Jeff Chiu / AP

Chris Nichols
By Chris Nichols May 3, 2016

Yep, Donald Trump gave $12K to Jerry Brown, Gavin Newsom & Kamala Harris

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is no ally of California Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown.

But Cruz is hoping to paint his rival for the GOP presidential nomination, Donald Trump, as a political friend of Brown and two other top Democrats in the Golden State: Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Kamala Harris.

"Here in California, Donald Trump has given $12,000 to Jerry Brown, Gavin Newsom and Kamala Harris," Cruz said during his speech on April 30 at the California Republican Party Convention south of San Francisco.

Cruz went on to tell the GOP California audience: "Y’all are experiencing first-hand the consequences of those misguided liberal policies."

We wondered if Cruz’s claim about Trump funding three top California Democrats was correct? And if so, how recently had Trump helped out these Democrats?

Our research

Turns out, Cruz’s claim is accurate, based on campaign finance data on the California Secretary of State’s website.

But Trump’s donations to the Democrats aren’t recent.

The GOP frontrunner contributed $3,500 to Brown’s run for state attorney general, making donations in 2004 and 2006. He gave $2,500 to Newsom’s 2009 truncated run for governor. And he chipped in a total of $6,000 to Harris in 2011 and 2013 for her successful re-election campaign for attorney general.

Featured Fact-check

Source: California Secretary of State's website

Trump has acknowledged financing both Republicans and Democrats during his long business career, all to gain political influence. Records show he gave $25,000 to the California Republican Party in 2005 and $12,000 to Arnold Schwarzenegger, the state’s former Republican governor, a couple years later.

What Cruz doesn’t mention about Trump’s donations to the Democrats is that they took place before Trump’s run for the GOP presidential nomination. A Cruz campaign press release included a timeline for the donations, but we are fact-checking what Cruz said during his speech.

Our ruling

Ted Cruz said Donald Trump gave $12,000 to three top California Democrats, including Gov. Jerry Brown.

Campaign finance data show Cruz’s claim is accurate.

But Cruz leaves out the fact that the donations to the California governor took place a decade ago, before the Democrat ran for re-election to the state’s top office. Trump’s contributions to the other Democrats took place in 2009, 2011 and 2013.

In the end, we rate the claim Mostly True.

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MOSTLY TRUE – The statement is accurate but needs clarification or additional information.

Click here for more on the six PolitiFact ratings and how we select facts to check.

Our Sources

Ted Cruz, speech at California Republican Party Convention, April 30, 2016

California Secretary of State, Power Search Campaign Finance, accessed April 30, 2016

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More by Chris Nichols

Yep, Donald Trump gave $12K to Jerry Brown, Gavin Newsom & Kamala Harris

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