By Thomas Kaplan and Maggie Haberman – – – –
The casino magnate Sheldon G. Adelson said on Thursday night that he would support Donald J. Trump now that he has become the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee.
“Yes, I’m a Republican, he’s a Republican,” Mr. Adelson said in a brief interview. “He’s our nominee. Whoever the nominee would turn out to be, any one of the 17 — he was one of the 17. He won fair and square.”
Mr. Adelson made the comments while at a gala dinner in Manhattan for the World Values Network, a Jewish organization.
Mr. Trump went after Mr. Adelson on Twitter in October, writing that the donor wanted to make Senator Marco Rubio of Florida “his perfect little puppet.” But Mr. Trump also courted him; the two men met in December. Mr. Adelson later said that they discussed Israel and that he found Mr. Trump“very charming.”
Mr. Adelson ultimately stayed neutral through the last few months of nominating contests.
Mr. Adelson said on Thursday that he had spoken to Mr. Trump recently, but did not elaborate about the timing or nature of their communication. He told another journalist that he thinks that Mr. Trump “will be good for Israel.”
Mr. Adelson’s voice of support was particularly notable given that the Republican Jewish Coalition, a group he has funded heavily, suggested after Mr. Trump became the presumptive nominee that it is focusing mostly on preserving Republican gains in the House and the Senate.
Also on Thursday, Gov. Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, whose family helped finance a “super PAC” devoted solely to stopping Mr. Trump, will endorse the Republican Party’s standard-bearer at an Omaha rally on Friday, an aide confirmed.
Taylor Gage, a spokesman for the governor, said Mr. Ricketts would appear and give remarks at the event with Mr. Trump.
The governor “has said for months that he would support the Republican nominee,” Mr. Gage said.
Members of the Ricketts family donated millions of dollars to the Our Principles PAC and seeded its earliest efforts at denying Mr. Trump the nomination. The PAC is still active, but it spent lightly in the Indiana primary, which Mr. Trump won soundly on Tuesday night.
Mr. Trump also won support from a former rival and the former Texas governor, Rick Perry, who told CNN on Thursday that he would try to help Mr. Trump and was open to being his vice-presidential nominee.
Mr. Perry had carved out early territory in the presidential race last summer by describing Mr. Trump as a “cancer on conservatism.” But Mr. Trump essentially rolled over him, claiming him as an early victim of his own candidacy.
Mr. Perry told CNN he would do everything he could to help Mr. Trump.
Those endorsements came on the same day that the House speaker, Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, said he was not prepared to support the nominee yet. Mary Matalin, a former adviser to Dick Cheney, told Bloomberg Politics that she had switched her registration to Libertarian.