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This post was originally published as part of “The Trump Files“—a collection of telling episodes, strange but true stories, and curious scenes from the life of our current president—on July 28, 2016.

Democrats weren’t always bashing Donald Trump. In fact, in 1987, they were seemingly desperate to get his star power on their side.

Even though Trump was a registered Republican, House Speaker Jim Wright (D-Texas) and other high-ranking Democrats asked Trump to host their annual Democratic congressional fundraising dinner the next year. Rank-and-file Democratic lawmakers cheered the effort on. Future presidential nominee John Kerry chimed in to invite Trump on behalf of the Senate Democrats.

“He’s young, dynamic, successful,” gushed Rep. Beryl Anthony Jr., the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, to the New York Times. He cited Trump’s wish to help negotiate nuclear arms reduction treaties as evidence Trump was in the wrong party. “The message Trump has been preaching is a Democratic message,” Anthony said.

Trump, however, was lukewarm. “I’m honored to be asked by the Speaker, whom I hold in high esteem,” he told the Times. He said he’d consider the invitation, but probably not Anthony’s suggestion that he become a Democrat. Two days later, the Washington Post reported that Trump was indeed ready to fundraise—for Rudy Giuliani, then a potential Republican candidate for the Senate. He eventually turned the Democrats down.

 

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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