Casey Affleck Blames His Business Partner for Donald Trump Donation

Feb 27, 2017 at 3:41 p.m. ET
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Casey Affleck is under fire since it came to light that his production company, the Affleck/Middleton Project, made a $5,000 donation to a pro-Trump nonprofit. But Affleck's name wasn't the only surprising one found in filings for the nonprofit — Google’s lead lobbyist Susan Molinari; 21st Century Fox lobbyist David Bockorny; the Entertainment Software Association; Microsoft; and Mark Zuckerberg’s pro-immigration lobbying group Fwd.us all made donations. Many of them kicked in $5,000, the federal maximum for a donation to this kind of group.

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The donations all went to Trump For America, a private nonprofit that has collected $6.5 million from individuals, corporations and lobbyists to aide with President Trump's transition into office. Reps for Microsoft, Google, Fwd.us and other surprising donors haven't yet commented; Affleck, meanwhile, is denying that he had any knowledge that the donation was being made.

"I am appalled that a donation may have been made in my company’s name by someone I work with," Affleck said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. "I had no knowledge of it, was never asked, and never would have authorized it. I will get to the bottom of it. The policies of the Trump administration, and the values they represent, are antithetical to everything I believe in."

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The "someone I work with" Affleck is referring to is likely his business partner, John Powers Middleton, a longtime Republican who has contributed hundreds of thousands to organizations that support Trump — $227,000 personally to a pro-Trump super PAC, and $150,000 through his corporation, John Powers Middleton Companies. Middleton did not respond to a request for comment from BuzzFeed.

Affleck has been an outspoken critic of Trump and his policies since before the election. On Saturday, he won Best Male Lead at the 2017 Film Independent Spirit Awards and used his acceptance speech to further dig at Trump, saying, "The policies of this administration are abhorrent and they won’t last. They’re really un-American."

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