Ron Burkle toured the world with former President Bill Clinton, reportedly sitting in on a meeting with Nelson Mandela. The billionaire businessman spent years close to Clinton and has funneled money to numerous Democratic candidates, including Hillary Clinton during her 2008 presidential run.
But as she fights off a strong 2016 primary challenge from Bernie Sanders, Clinton has yet to receive financial support from Burkle. He even made a small — by billionaire standards — donation to Republican hopeful Marco Rubio, and reportedly held a fundraiser for the GOP's John Kasich.
Burkle has by no means pledged his support to either Republican and could still raise money for Clinton later in the cycle, a person familiar with his spending said. But his unclear allegiance so far reflects not only reports of a falling out with Bill Clinton, but also a possible desire to hedge his political bets.
Burkle declined to comment to CNBC.