President-elect Donald Trump said Thursday he has selected New York Jets’ owner Woody Johnson, one of the top fundraisers of his presidential campaign, to serve as US ambassador to the United Kingdom.
Trump announced during a luncheon with supporters in Washington, DC, that Johnson is “going to St. James,” an apparent reference to the Court of St. James’s. The US ambassador to the UK is known formally as the ambassador to the Court of St. James.
“Congratulations,” Trump told Johnson as he pointed out notable members of the audience.
Incoming White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer confirmed Johnson’s appointment.
Johnson was rumored for some time to be the top pick for the plum ambassadorship to the UK, one of the US’s foremost allies.
He served as a vice chairman of the Trump Victory Committee, the joint fundraising committee between the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee, and helped raise millions of dollars for Trump’s campaign.
Top donors, fundraisers and bundlers for successful presidential candidates have frequently snagged coveted posts as US ambassadors around the world.
Trump’s often promised during the campaign that he would owe nothing to no one, but he has picked a number of major donors for key positions.
Trump frequently – and falsely – claimed during his general election campaign that he was self-funding his run for president. Trump did spend nearly $66 million of his own money, but most of the funding for his general election effort came from outside donors.
Among the big GOP donors and those who helped Trump finance campaign who are up for key posts:
-Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s pick to lead the Treasury Department who was facing a Senate confirmation hearing Thursday, served as Trump’s campaign finance chairman.
-Betsy DeVos, who was tapped for Education Secretary, did not donate to the Trump campaign, but is a mega-donor to the Republican Party.
-Wilbur Ross, the billionaire investor who donated the maximum contribution to Trump’s joint fundraising committee, was tapped for Commerce Secretary.