Sheldon Adelson to have dinner Thursday at White House with Trump
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Sheldon Adelson to have dinner Thursday at White House with Trump

Jewish billionaire, a staunch supporter of Netanyahu, to dine with the president ahead of PM’s Oval Office meeting next Wednesday

Casino magnate Sheldon G. Adelson in attendance at the 4th Annual Champions Of Jewish Values International Awards Gala at Marriott Marquis Times Square on May 5, 2016, in New York City. (Steve Mack/Getty Images via JTA)
Casino magnate Sheldon G. Adelson in attendance at the 4th Annual Champions Of Jewish Values International Awards Gala at Marriott Marquis Times Square on May 5, 2016, in New York City. (Steve Mack/Getty Images via JTA)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will host Sheldon and Miriam Adelson for a White House dinner.

The Washington Post reported that Adelson, a casino magnate who is a major backer both of Republicans and of pro-Israel groups, and his wife will join other associates of the new president for a meal on Thursday evening.

Adelson did not commit to a candidate until May of 2016 when he endorsed Trump at a time when it was clear Trump would be the Republican nominee.

He subsequently donated tens of millions to Trump’s election campaign and to his inauguration; he and his wife were on the dais for Trump’s inaugural oath-taking, a rare honor for campaign funders.

The dinner comes ahead of a visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House on Feb. 15

Adelson in indirectly involved in a graft investigation into Netanyahu. The Prime Minister is being probed into allegations that he colluded with the publisher of an Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth to try and reduce the impact of its competitor, an Adelson backed paper, in return for better coverage.

Adelson is a staunch supporter of Netanyahu. He has been cited frequently in media reports and widely represented by both critics and supporters as Israel Hayom’s owner. However, last year, his lawyers told Israel’s Supreme Court that he does not own the paper, but a relative does.

In Israel, the paper is widely considered to be a mouthpiece for Netanyahu. Because it is given out free it has quickly developed the largest circulation in the country, harming Yedioth, which had the main position until then.

American billionaire Sheldon Adelson (R) and his wife Miriam Ochshorn meet then head of the opposition Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu at the Israeli Presidential Conference in Jerusalem. May 13, 2008. (Anna Kaplan /Flash90)
American billionaire Sheldon Adelson (R) and his wife Miriam Ochshorn meet then head of the opposition Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu at the Israeli Presidential Conference in Jerusalem. May 13, 2008. (Anna Kaplan /Flash90)

Adelson told the Macau Daily Times in January 2016 that no one from his family has ever told journalists working at Israel Hayom what to write.

“We have about 200 journalists at the Israel Today [the English name for Israel Hayom] newspaper. You could call any one of them and you say, ‘Did anybody from the Adelson family ever tell you what to write or what not to write?’ and they will tell you, ‘No.’ If somebody’s going to write something bad about me and there’s no justification for it, I won’t know about it until after it’s done,” he said.

Adelson, 83, is noted for his right-wing views. In November 2014, he told the Israeli American Council in Washington that “the Palestinians are an invented people” and that “the purpose of the existence of Palestinians is to destroy Israel.”

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