House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) on Tuesday asked the audience at the Center for American Progress Ideas Conference to applaud for Democratic mega donor Donald Sussman.
"May I just say, many honors are afforded a member of Congress, but being introduced by Donald Sussman is high among them," Pelosi said. "Thank you Donald for your kind words."
"Where did he go? Did he leave?" Pelosi asked, as she giggled on stage.
"That’s an applause line – Donald Sussman, by the way," Pelosi said, signaling the audience to clap.
Sussman was one of the Democratic Party's biggest donors in 2016 and one of the names implicated in the massive leak of information showing how the world's wealthiest people are shielding their assets in foreign corporations, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
The use of offshore tax havens has become a rallying cry for Democrats such as presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton, who derides companies that use them to shield assets from U.S. tax collectors.
Sussman previously faced scrutiny over his apparent efforts to claim tax breaks in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Despite that controversy and his ties to TrustNet’s network of offshore corporate entities, he has been one of the most prolific supporters of groups backing Clinton’s candidacy.
According to Federal Election Commission records, Sussman has donated $4 million to pro-Clinton Super PAC Priorities USA Action; $1.5 million to Women Vote, a pro-Clinton Super PAC affiliated with the group Emily’s List; and $100,000 to Correct the Record, a Super PAC coordinating directly with Clinton’s campaign.