Donald Trump Continues to Court Megadonor Sheldon Adelson

Mr. Trump sat with Mr. Adelson and his wife, Miriam, at a fundraiser for the nominee co-hosted by Phil Ruffin, another billionaire casino owner, according to two people familiar with the event. Their meeting was first reported Friday by Politico. Mr. Ruffin donated the maximum $449,400 to Mr. Trump’s joint Republican Party fund in June

The previous week, Mr. Trump met privately with Mr. Adelson in Manhattan, a person close to Mr. Adelson said. A day after that meeting,Mr. Trump at a North Carolina rally for the first time expressed regret for “saying the wrong thing,” though he did not specify which comments he was referring to.

Mr. Adelson earlier this year said he would spend up to $100 million supporting Mr. Trump. But through July, he hadn’t donated to the Trump campaign, his joint fund with the Republican Party or any outside group backing the nominee, according to Federal Election Commission disclosures. It’s unclear if Mr. Adelson donated to Mr. Trump at last week’s fundraiser. The Republican’s coffers lag far behind those of Democrat Hillary Clinton, with just over two months left until Election Day.

Spokesmen for Mr. Adelson and the Trump campaign didn’t return requests for comment.

Meanwhile, Mr. Adelson donated $10 million to a non-profit focusing exclusively on Senate races, the Guardian reported last week. An official for the group, called One Nation, said the group doesn’t comment on specific donations. (As a 501(c)(4), it is not required to disclose its donors.) The group is run by Steven Law, who also runs a super PAC, American Crossroads, that spent millions backing nominee Mitt Romney in 2012. This election, it has so far declined to spend money on the presidential election.

People familiar with Mr. Adelson’s thinking say that he still supports Mr. Trump, but that he has been more hesitant to open his pocketbook after he felt his funds were wasted in 2012. During that election, he spent close to $100 million on Republican causes, supporting one winning and eight losing candidates—including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Mr. Romney.

In May, the Journal reported that Mr. Adelson was looking into setting up a super PAC to back Mr. Trump. That effort has since disbanded.

Mr. Adelson attended the Republican convention in Cleveland in July, where his adviser, Andy Abboud, tweeted a photo of the Adelsons posing with Mr. Trump. “The Adelson’s with their choice for president!” the adviser wrote.


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