Harold Hamm gives to Trump after avoiding him

By Timothy Cama | 10/16/2023 04:30 PM EDT

The oil and gas executive’s recent donation sets him apart from most of Trump’s former major energy industry donors.

Donald Trump and Harold Hamm.

Then-President Donald Trump with energy mogul Harold Hamm during an event in 2019. Evan Vucci/AP

Oil and natural gas titan Harold Hamm has donated to former President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, after previously souring on him.

Hamm, the executive chair of Continental Resources, gave $3,300 — the maximum for a primary election — to Trump’s campaign in August, according to disclosure forms. Continental officials did not respond to requests for comment.

Hamm was previously an outspoken ally and informal adviser to Trump, stretching back to his 2016 presidential campaign, when the oil executive gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to pro-Trump causes and helped raise other money for him. Hamm was under consideration to be Trump’s Energy secretary.


But Hamm turned away from Trump following his 2020 election loss, and has given money to the presidential campaigns of two of Trump’s Republican rivals, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley.

“My concern is his electability in the general [election] … to make sure that we don’t wind up same place we did last time. If it’s close, guess who’s going to win. They did last time,” Hamm said in August at a Heritage Foundation event.

“Although I held the respect of President Trump and we remained friends throughout much of his term, I saw the president become more and more distracted as he was almost overrun by many people who were only interested in taking,” Hamm wrote in the book, “Game Changer: Our Fifty-Year Mission to Secure America’s Energy Independence,” published that month.

He also helped raise money for DeSantis that month.

But later in August, Hamm appears to have had a change of heart.

The Aug. 22 donation came just over a week after a Georgia grand jury indicted Trump and other co-defendants on charges related to accusations that he sought to change the results of the 2020 election in that state, charges the former president has denied.

Hamm’s donation sets him apart from most of Trump’s major energy industry donors, who have generally stayed away from the 2024 race or donated only to his opponents.

Trump has consistently led in polling among the 2024 Republican presidential field. He has promised to revive his fossil-fuel-heavy “energy dominance” agenda, boost oil and natural gas production, and roll back environmental policies from President Joe Biden en masse, among other policies.