A CBS News investigation uncovered a possible pay-for-play system involving the Republican National Committee and President Donald Trump's ambassador to the Bahamas. Emails received by CBS News show that the candidate Doug Manchester, a billionaire from San Diego, has been asked by the RNC to donate half a million dollars as his Senate affirmation faltered, according to lead investigator Jim Axelrod] Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas in September, Manchester wanted to help. The San Diego-based real estate developer, nicknamed "Papa Doug," stockpiled his private jet and made his way to the hard-hit Caribbean country where he owned a home-and soon hoped to become a US ambassador act. 1
Then for two and a half years, Manchester's nomination stalled in the Senate.
His Bahamas relief trip caught the president's attention. Trump tweeted : "I would also like to thank 'Papa' Doug Manchester, hopefully the next ambassador to the Bahamas, for the incredible amount of time, money and passion he has spent improving the security of the US Bahamas. "
Three days after the tweet, RNC chairman Ronna McDaniel suggested Manchester for a donation. It was not a small sum. In an email received solely from CBS News, she asked Manchester, "Would you consider making $ 500,000 worth of family contributions to ensure that we reach our ambitious donation target?"  "Did you have the feeling of putting your arm on yourself? "Asked Axelrod."
"No, I do not have that. That's part of politics. It's incredible. You give and you give and you give more and more, "Manchester said.
" Does any part of you feel like an ambassador in the Bahamas if you cut the $ 500,000 check? "Axelrod asked. 19659002] "No, because first you have to get out of the committee and be elected on the floor," Manchester said. "It's a big process."
The Senate confirmation process is exactly what Manchester spoke quickly At McDaniel's request, $ 500,000 back, "As you know, I'm not supposed to do anything, but my wife sends $ 100,000. Suppose I am chosen from the [Foreign Relations Committee] on Wednesday for the word you need Let the Majority Leader bring it to majority vote … Once this is confirmed, I, our [sic] family, will answer! "
" You know what that looks like, "said Axelrod.
" Well – it looks like this for you. But it's not the facts, "said Manchester." My wife was a separate donor and she loves Donald Trump. "
In a statement, a Republican National Committee spokesman told us," The Chair has not suggested Mr. Manchester in any way that it would be faster his confirmation, if members of his family made a political contribution.
The RNC said: "Mr. Manchester's decision to link future posts to official action was completely inappropriate. "They said they cut relations with Manchester and returned the money their family had donated this year.
Former Ambassador Barbara Stephenson, who has spent more than three decades in posts around the world as President of both She said she had never met a candidate who had to donate money in order to be confirmed and expressed her concern over the exchange of information between Manchester and McDaniel.
"It is a serious erosion of the concept, That my country does not sell public office, "Stephenson said," It's hard to believe that we fully obey our law and our values and are a hilltop town that I have always represented. "
It's a non-partisan Tradition that presidents award about a third of the ambassadors' offices to political supporters A CBS News inquiry revealed that political supporters f Half of Trump's choice.
UK Ambassador Woody Johnson and Ambassador to France Jamie McCourt have already donated hundreds of thousands for the presidential re-election.
Prior to his appointment, Ambassador of the European Unionwho is the focus of the impeachment investigation, donated $ 1 million to Trump's inauguration.
Robin Bernstein, who serves in the Dominican Republic and Lana Marks in South Africa, were both members of Trump's Mar-a-Lago club, whose entry costs $ 200,000.
Former Senator Bob Corker, who chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee prior to retiring in January, held Manchester's nomination for a job, "Corker said.
He found McDaniel's appeal for donations problematic." Inquiry was obviously inappropriate, "he said.
Even worse, he said, was Manchester's answer, his big mistake being copying staff from two senators who controlled his nomination, Kentucky's Rand Paul and Idaho's Jim Risch, and to make them aware of his willingness to donate more after confirmation.
There would have been a five-bell alarm, "Corker said.
And that's exactly what happened. Risch alerted the White House, which prompted Manchester to withdraw.
The White House did not respond immediately to a statement.
Manchester retired officially for personal reasons in October.
"Sow, how painful was it to have to retire?" Axelrod asked.
"Hey, listen – politics is politics," said Manchester.