Sheldon Adelson urges Republicans to come together to support Trump
Ethan Miller (Getty/AFP/File)
Jewish multi-billionaire business magnate and casino owner Sheldon Adelson has made his strongest endorsement yet of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
“You may not like Trump’s style or what he says on Twitter, but this country needs strong executive leadership more today than at almost any point in its history,” Adelson wrote in an op-ed published on the Washington Post website early Friday.
“For nearly eight years, Republicans have fought tooth and nail against President Obama and his policies. We waged battles over debt, government spending, Obamacare and the Iran nuclear deal — an issue of paramount importance to me personally and to many others around the world … If Republicans do not come together in support of Trump, Obama will essentially be granted something the Constitution does not allow — a third term in the name of Hillary Clinton,” Adelson wrote.
Adelson reportedly told Trump in a private meeting last week that he was willing to contribute more to help elect him than he has to any previous campaign, according to two Republicans with direct knowledge of Adelson’s commitment, the New York Times reported.
According to the Republicans, who spoke on condition of anonymity, Adelson and his advisers still do not know which super PAC to use as their vehicle for the bulk of the contributions, the New York Times reported.
Earlier this month Adelson announced his support for Trump during a speech as a gala dinner in Manhattan for the World Values Network, a Jewish organization.
Adelson said of Trump: "He's our nominee. Whoever the nominee would turn out to be, any one of the 17 — he was one of the 17. He won fair and square."
Despite Trump initially attacking Adelson on Twitter in October, when he said that the newspaper owner wanted to make competing candidate Marco Rubio "his perfect little puppet," relations between the two have since warmed: The pair met in December and discussed Israel, after which Adelson said he found Trump to be "very charming," the NYTreports.
Adelson also told another journalist that he believed Trump would be "good for Israel." Adelson, who owns daily free-sheet Israel Hayom, the most widely-read newspaper in Israel, has previously said that his main consideration when choosing which US presidential candidate to support is the safety of Israel.
Trump fell short of winning an endorsement from House Speaker Paul Ryan Thursday but both men said they had taken a "positive step" toward unifying the party behind the billionaire's remarkable White House run.
Trump, facing a critical early test of his general election candidacy, met with Ryan to air their differences, and with other Republican leaders.
Despite several Republicans acknowledging deep fissures within the party about a standardbearer whose policies often stray from conservative orthodoxy, Trump emerged from the meetings sounding optimistic about a rapprochement.
"Great day in D.C. with @SpeakerRyan and Republican leadership. Things working out really well!" he said on Twitter.
In a joint statement afterward, Trump and Ryan called their meeting a "positive step toward unification" and stressed the party's paramount goal is to defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton in November.
But Ryan, who declared last week that he was "not ready" to support Trump as party flagbearer, withheld his endorsement.
"I think this is going in a positive direction and I think this is a first very encouraging meeting," Ryan told reporters. "But again, in 45 minutes you don't litigate all of the processes and all the issues and the principles that we are talking about."
Despite outstanding differences, Trump appeared to strike a delicate peace with the party establishment that he was so quick to attack on the campaign trail.
"While we were honest about our few differences, we recognize that there are also many important areas of common ground," the pair said in their statement.
"We will be having additional discussions, but remain confident there's a great opportunity to unify our party and win this fall, and we are totally committed to working together to achieve that goal."
The real estate mogul, who has never run for elective office before, also met with top Senate Republicans, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has offered his support of Trump.
Staff with agencies
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