Welcome back to #TrumpWatch, where Tablet presents the daily low-lights of Donald Trump’s attempt to use the dark forces of bigotry to become President of the United States. Today, let’s turn our attention to casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who recently announced he’s backing The Donald, a lover of Hispanics, for president.
Adelson, who’s worth some serious moola, had thus far abstained from endorsing a candidate. Now, it’s a billionaire smorgasbord, I guess, a Trump-Adelson choo-choo train that’s going to make America divisive again, or something like that. And American Jews who typically support Adelson—a staunch supporter of Israel and one of the most prolific Jewish philanthropists alive today—must now ask themselves whether or not they will stick with their man and support Trump, the last remaining Republican candidate, too.
Watch: Asked casino mogul Sheldon Adelson if he’ll back #Trump. He said Trump is good for #Israel & he supports him. pic.twitter.com/LyrlbpJuRR
— Bahman Kalbasi (@BahmanKalbasi) May 6, 2016
Adelson met Trump in December last year and said the real estate mogul was “very charming.” They discussed Israel, though this was before Trump’s impassioned, ultra-hawkish AIPAC speech during which he “jettisoned his race-baiting and incitement for boilerplate bromides on Israel, Iran, and the Middle East,” wrote Yair Rosenberg. Who knows, also, whether Trump told Adelson then what he believes now, about wanting Israel to keep building settlements in the West Bank. (And it’s also unclear as to who won their thumb war over whose face should go on the new $10 bill.)
Last October, Trump essentially called Adelson a puppetmaster, after Adelson warmed to Senator Marco Rubio. But that endorsement never came. Now, Adelson may end up influencing Trump’s platform (which is ironic, given that The Donald had mocked Rubio for his apparent malleability). What remains to be seen, however, is whether Trump’s demagoguery, which has given voice to white supremacists and neo-Nazis, will cease while Adelson’s dollars rev his campaign’s engines. Maybe Trump’s recent denouncement of David Duke and anti-Semitism is a step in the right direction. Maybe.
Jordana Narin is an intern at Tablet