Adelson, miffed at Trump over embassy about-face, said to shut spigot
Billionaire backer of Republican party hasn’t donated money since inauguration, Politico reports
Jewish-American billionaire and casino mogul Sheldon Adelson is reportedly angry with US President Donald Trump over his failure to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and has not donated to any pro-Trump groups since the inauguration, according to a report Monday.
Adelson, one of the biggest backers of Republican candidates, made history earlier this year by writing a $5 million check to help underwrite Trump’s inauguration festivities, earning himself and his wife a seat on the platform just a few rows behind the president.
According to people close to the billionaire who spoke to news site Politico, Adelson has privately complained about Trump’s failure to fulfill his campaign promise to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Adelson is also reportedly dismayed over the “state of chaos” in the new administration and that some of those he recommended for administrative positions have not yet been appointed, the sources said, according to the report.
Trump promised while campaigning to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocate the American mission there, drawing a fierce rebuke from Palestinian Authority officials and concern from the European Union and others that the move could spark violence.
While other presidential candidates have also promised to move the embassy in line with a 1995 bill ordering the move, once taking office all have signed waivers postponing the move for security reasons. The current waiver will expire on May 31, when Trump will have to decide whether to extend it or move the mission.
Despite the enthusiasm expressed by Israeli officials over a possible embassy move, Trump has seemed to walk back his pledge to relocate the embassy since his inauguration, saying in an interview in late January that “I don’t want to talk about it yet. It’s too early.”
In March, US Vice President Mike Pence told the annual gathering of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC that “the president of the United States is giving serious consideration to moving the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” although he did not provide any further specifics.
Adelson is known as a major donor to Jewish and Israeli causes, and is seen as a steadfast backer of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has quietly expressed support for the embassy move.
A spokesman for Adelson, Andy Abboud, told Politico the billionaire is “overall not angry or unhappy” with the president. Adelson, he said, is waiting patiently for action on the embassy.
According to the report, Adelson isn’t the only one voicing concern as Trump passes 100 days in office. Senior Republicans, eyeing the midterms scheduled for next year, are dismayed at Trump’s poor approval ratings, dearth of legislative achievements and the overall impression of an administration that has not yet found its feet.
“At some point, they’ve got to find some kind of rhythm, and there is no rhythm yet,” said Randy Evans, a Republican National Committee member from Georgia. “They’ve got to put some drives together.”
Agencies contributed to this report.