Donald Trump lays the compliments on Sheldon Adelson, the Netanyahu backer who recently pledged his support for the Republican nominee. But Trump hasn’t always had nice things to say about Adelson and his money.
By Shuki Tausig
At rally in Nevada last week, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump mentioned Sheldon Adelson, the American casino mogul and patron of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.
“Did you read that in your good paper? Good paper, owned by a great guy — Sheldon, Sheldon, Sheldon Adelson,” Trump as part of an attack on the Affordable Care Act, Barack Obama’s flagship healthcare program.
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The “great paper” he referred to is the Las Vegas Review Journal, the largest newspaper in Nevada, which Adelson anonymously purchased last year. The identity of the purchaser was only revealed through investigative journalism by the paper’s reporters, who found that he paid significantly more than market value.
The paper’s journalists went on to write a series of articles critical of Adelson and the new ownership’s attempts to influence the editorial line. That is, until its top editors and writers were replaced and the critical voices were silenced.
Back at the rally last week, Trump made sure to note that Adelson is a “big supporter of Israel.” Perhaps the largest donor to Republican political campaigns this season (though he has given far less than the $100 million he donated in the 2012 campaign), Adelson sat on the fence in the current election until he announced his support for Trump in May.
A few weeks ago, Adelson pledged $25 million to a Super PAC supporting Trump, according to The Guardian. In Israel, Adelson’s newspaper Israel Hayom provides favorable coverage of the Republican presidential candidate.
Trump, for his part, has held numerous positions on Israel during the campaign, not all of which have sat well with Adelson’s views, the most memorable of which was when he said Washington should be neutral toward Israel.
It is worth noting that Trump did not always think of Adelson as a “great guy.” When the casino mogul had pledged support for Republican rival Marco Rubio’s campaign in October 2015, Trump tweeted: “Sheldon Adelson is looking to give big dollars to Rubio because he feels he can mold him into his perfect little puppet. I agree!”
Sheldon Adelson is looking to give big dollars to Rubio because he feels he can mold him into his perfect little puppet. I agree!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2015