Donald Trump's team to raise millions for inauguration events

President-elect Donald Trump's team has started raising tens of millions of dollars for festivities at his Washington inauguration.

Mr Trump, who vowed during the campaign to "drain the swamp" of special interests corrupting Washington, is expected to raise significantly more than the $43m Barack Obama secured for his 2013 inauguration.

Taxpayers cover the cost of official activities such as the swearing-in on January 20, but outside donations pay for the many related balls and parties.

An official on the Presidential Inaugural Committee said $1m donation limits have been set for corporations, with no ceiling for individuals.

The committee will not accept money from registered lobbyists, in line with Mr Trump's ban on hiring lobbyists for his administration.

Mr Obama set stricter limits on donations for his first inauguration, in 2009, holding individual donors to $50,000 each and taking no money from corporations or labour unions, as well as none from lobbyists and some other groups.

The new details came as Mr Trump gathered with family at his Palm Beach estate Mar-a-Lago for Thanksgiving.

Mr Trump's team would not say which family members joined him for dinner, although he arrived in Florida earlier in the week with his wife, Melania, and youngest son, 10-year-old Barron.

They dined with other Mar-a-Lago members from a Thanksgiving menu that featured "Mr Trump's wedge salad" and main course offerings like oven-roasted turkey, leg of lamb, Chilean sea bass, and braised short ribs.

The dessert options included pumpkin pie, toasted coconut cake, warm brownie pockets and hot apple crisp.

It was a working holiday of sorts for Mr Trump, who suggested on Twitter that he was engaged in trying to prevent an Indiana air conditioning company from moving jobs to Mexico.

"I am working hard, even on Thanksgiving, trying to get Carrier A.C. Company to stay in the US," he tweeted. "MAKING PROGRESS - Will know soon!"

The company, which has revealed plans to move 1,400 jobs to Mexico from Indiana in the coming years, confirmed it "has had discussions with the incoming administration," but said there was "nothing to announce at this time".

On the eve of the national holiday, the president-elect offered a prayer for unity after "a long and bruising" campaign season.

"Emotions are raw and tensions just don't heal overnight," he said in a video message on social media, adding: "It's my prayer that on this Thanksgiving we begin to heal our divisions and move forward as one country strengthened by shared purpose and very, very common resolve."

Unity has emerged as a common theme during Mr Trump's limited public appearances in the days since his stunning election victory, which followed a campaign in which he rained extraordinary personal attacks on his opponents in both parties, the media and his many Republican critics.

- AP

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