WASHINGTON — Sheldon Adelson plans to spend tens of millions of dollars to help elect Donald Trump, the New York Times reported.
The casino billionaire, Republican megagiver and pro-Israel philanthropist last week declared his support for Trump in a Washington post Op-Ed but did not say whether that would mean a cash infusion.
The Times on Friday quoted two Republicans as saying that Trump and Adelson met last week in New York when Adelson was in the city to attend an event of the World Values Network, a Jewish group he helps fund. Adelson said he was ready to spend more than he had in any prior bid to elect a president, even more than $100 million, according to the report.
Spending by Adelson and his wife, Miriam, in the 2012 cycle, has been estimated as being between $98 million and $150 million, but that includes money spent on congressional races. Adelson this time around would focus almost exclusively on the presidential race, the report said.
Trump, a real estate magnate and reality TV star whose likely Republican nomination has rattled the party, has until now been self-funded, but as he heads into a general election against likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, he has said he will seek outside funding.
He has riven the party and alienated many donors. Jewish Republicans particularly have been unsettled by his equivocating on what once were sine qua nons of Republican support for Israel, including tilting toward Israel in its dealings with Palestinians, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and pledging to maintain and increase defense assistance for Israel.
Trump has at times said he would remain neutral on Israel and the Palestinians, has said and then walked back a refusal to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and has suggested Israel should pay for U.S. defense assistance.