Casino mogul Adelson met with Trump hours after Las Vegas shooting
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Casino mogul Adelson met with Trump hours after Las Vegas shooting

Pre-arranged meeting was to review policy, but also looked at ways to help victims of massacre

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Sheldon Adelson is seated prior to the inauguration of then President-elect Donald Trump at the US Capitol in Washington, DC  on January 20, 2017. (AFP PHOTO/Paul J. Richards)
Sheldon Adelson is seated prior to the inauguration of then President-elect Donald Trump at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on January 20, 2017. (AFP PHOTO/Paul J. Richards)

Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson met Monday with US President Donald Trump in the White House, where they discussed how to help victims of a deadly shooting hours earlier at a Las Vegas country music festival that killed 59 people and injured hundreds.

The afternoon meeting had been scheduled before the shooting attack and was aimed at discussing policy, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on Tuesday, citing a representative from the Sheldon’s Las Vegas Sands casino and resort company.

Adelson, who owns the Review-Journal, was one of Trump’s biggest financial backers during his successful 2016 presidential election campaign, donating millions to the Republican candidate’s cause. The two men both own casinos in Las Vegas.

People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 1, 2017. (David Becker/Getty Images/AFP)

Adelson is also a major backer of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and owns the widely circulated Israel Hayom free daily.

According to Sands representative Andy Abboud, Trump and Adelson discussed the shooting in Las Vegas the night before and how they might help victims, among other topics, the Review-Journal reported.

Las Vegas on Tuesday was still coping with the aftermath of the Sunday shooting attack on a country music festival. Gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire from his hotel room on the 32nd floor of a casino across the street from the concert, killing 59 people and wounding over 500.

Debris litters a festival grounds across the street from the Mandalay Bay resort and casino Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

It’s not clear what motivated the shooting, although the actions of Paddock, 64, suggest that he had planned the attacks for at least a period of days.

Adelson, who owns several properties in Las Vegas, has not made any official statement on the shooting and its not known if he has donated any money to recovery efforts or victims funds. His daughter Shelley Adelson donated $10,000 to a GoFundMe page set up to aid victims.

Trump on Tuesday called the gunman “demented” and a “very, very sick individual.” Asked about gun laws, the president said, “We’ll be talking about gun laws as time goes by.”

US President Donald Trump gestures after arriving at the Luis Muñiz Air National Guard Base in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, October 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The president is slated to visit Las Vegas on Wednesday. He was in Puerto Rico on Tuesday to review hurricane recovery efforts.

In the Monday meeting, Adelson was accompanied by his wife Miriam. Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner was also present at the meeting and the Adelsons had sought to meet new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.

It was not immediately known what type of policy Trump and Adelson were set to discuss, but the casino mogul has been critical of the president over some of his stances toward Israel and reluctance to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Adelson has also reportedly been critical of National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster due to his positions on Israel.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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