Donald Trump makes donation to Ted Cruz
© Greg Nash

Hotel magnate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDems win from coast to coast Falwell after Gillespie loss: 'DC should annex' Northern Virginia Dems see gains in Virginia's House of Delegates MORE donated $5,000 to Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Finance: GOP criticism of tax bill grows, but few no votes | Highlights from day two of markup | House votes to overturn joint-employer rule | Senate panel approves North Korean banking sanctions GOP criticism of tax bill grows, but few ready to vote against it Anti-gay marriage county clerk Kim Davis to seek reelection in Kentucky MORE’s leadership PAC in January, according to new campaign records.

Trump’s show of support for the Texas Republican's leadership PAC — the maximum allowed under the law per election cycle — is an indication that the men are becoming political allies.

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The relationship between Trump and Cruz initially appeared to get off to a rocky start. In August, Trump said he wasn’t sure whether Cruz could be president because he was born in Canada.

But in the months that followed, Trump has spoken favorably about the Tea Party darling, who has been faring well in polls of possible 2016 contenders while making trips to Iowa, New Hampshire and Florida.

At a Republican event at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, Trump called Cruz a “very special guy.”

“One of the reasons I like Ted Cruz so much, is that he’s not controversial,” he said at the Palm Beach County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner in February, drawing laughs from the crowd.

“He shouldn’t be controversial because what he is doing is right. He took a stand recently, that if he had just a little backing  — and Ted and I have spoken about this — from other Republicans …  he would have negotiated one hell of a deal. It might not have ended ObamaCare, but you would have really gotten a big chunk out of it,” Trump added, speaking about last year’s government shutdown fight.  “I mean, [Republicans] they hit him harder than they hit the Democrats.”

In the speech, Trump said that in addition to Cruz’s 21-hour speech on the Senate floor rallying against the Affordable Care Act, he had seen the Texas senator speak on “numerous occasions.”

A media report from November cited an unnamed Cruz spokeswoman calling the two men “friends” who had spoken many times on the phone since meeting last year, and said Cruz visited Trump Tower during a trip to New York.

“Mr. Trump is a friend and the senator had some down time in NYC,” a Cruz spokeswoman told Politico.

Members of the Cruz camp did not respond to a request from The Hill for comment about the Trump donation. Michael Cohen, an executive vice president and special counsel to Trump, said it was too early to question whether “The Apprentice” host was considering backing Cruz or anyone else for president.

Trump has spoken publicly in recent months about other Republican presidential contenders, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

During the 2012 election season, GOP presidential hopefuls made visits to Trump Tower in New York City to court the billionaire, who eventually endorsed Mitt Romney.

The Federal Election Committee’s (FEC) individual donor database has not yet been updated to include the donation, but it shows that Trump also gave $1,000 to Rep. Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertGOP lawmaker calls for Mueller to be fired in speech on House floor GOP lawmaker calls for Mueller recusal over uranium deal Overnight Finance: Freedom Caucus chair courts Dems on tax reform | House passes .5B disaster relief package | House GOP worries about budget's fate in Senate MORE (R-Texas) in March.

FEC records show Trump has donated more than $127,000 during this election cycle so far, including to the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Sens. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell expects Paul to return to Senate next week Former Hill staff calls for mandatory harassment training Gaming the odds of any GOP tax bill getting signed into law MORE (R-Ky.) and John CornynJohn CornynAfter Texas shooting, lawmakers question whether military has systemic reporting problem Overnight Defense: Lawmakers question military's lapse after Texas shooting | Trump asks North Korea to 'make a deal' | Senate panel approves Army pick Overnight Regulation: House passes bill to overturn joint-employer rule | Trump officials to allow work requirements for Medicaid | Lawmakers 'alarmed' by EPA's science board changes MORE (R-Texas) and $50,000 to the Kentuckians for Strong Leadership political action committee.

The Jobs, Growth and Freedom Fund — Cruz’s leadership PAC — took in nearly $143,500 from January to March, according to recently filed reports with the Federal Election Commission, which includes a $66,100 transfer from his own campaign committee.

Traditionally used by more senior members of Congress to gain influence and build alliances, leadership PACs have become more common among new members. The PACs are especially common in the Senate, where members raise larger sums of money than in the House.

During the first three months of the year, Cruz’s leadership PAC gave $2,500 each to the campaigns of Republican Sens. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeMcCain backs Pentagon nominee despite concerns over defense industry ties GOP senators ask Trump for meeting on biofuels mandate Trump feuds endangering tax reform MORE (Okla.) and Jim RischJames (Jim) Elroy RischMore must be done to protect America's nuclear power plants from cyberattacks Trump feuds endangering tax reform Making cybersecurity a top priority in Congress MORE (Idaho).