Jewish philanthropist and top Republican donor Sheldon Adelson’s reported impatience with Donald Trump is reflected in the emphasis Adelson is placing on the battle for control of the Senate, CNN reported on Friday.
Adelson has given at least $40 million to super PACs focused solely on the fight for Congress, while the $10 million he dedicated to a pro-Trump super PAC is only advertising in states with competitive Senate races.
CNN and other outlets, citing unnamed figures close to Adelson, reported that Adelson — who has contributed up to $25 million to the Republican nominee’s presidential bid — regrets Trump’s “lack of focus” and misdirected attacks at fellow Republicans like House Speaker Paul Ryan as missed opportunities.
“Sheldon’s got to protect the House and the Senate, and Trump’s going after [fellow Republicans] isn’t helpful,” a source told CNN. “He’s really upset with the way Trump’s been running his campaign.”
Adelson and his wife, Miriam, were also reported to have attended a lunch with Trump and his family and other Trump allies prior to Wednesday’s presidential debate in Las Vegas. Fox Business reported that day, citing an unnamed “associate” of Adelson, that the donor sent an email to Trump urging him to stop attacking fellow Republicans and launching “counter-productive attacks” on the media.
The third and final debate came after a week in which Trump fended off charges by more than 10 women that he had initiated inappropriate contact with them in years past, and in which various Republican elected officials further distanced themselves from the candidate. Trump’s performance at the third debate was largely seen as a disappointment by Republicans and appeared to do little to improve his position behind Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in most polls.
Adelson is a prominent donor to Jewish causes and a staunch supporter of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In May, Adelson bucked a substantial number of Republican Jews who opposed Trump, even though by that time it was clear he would be the party’s presidential nominee. Adelson endorsed the pugnacious real estate magnate and reality TV star and appealed to other top Republican Jewish donors to follow suit.
The New York Times reported at the time that Adelson was prepared to spend up to $100 million to elect Trump.