Trump Sparks GOP Panic by Attacking Major Donor

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson was already known as 'Trump's Patron-in-Chief'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2020 12:15 PM CDT
Trump Sparks GOP Panic by Attacking Major Donor
Businessman and Republican donor Sheldon Adelson waits for the arrival of President Donald Trump to a campaign rally at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Trump's call this week with a GOP megadonor took an unexpected turn and left officials scrambling to undo the damage, Politico reports. Sheldon Adelson—the Las Vegas mogul who, along with his wife, has already poured $10 million into a pro-Trump super PAC—called the president to discuss the pandemic relief bill and was reprimanded for not giving more. The New York Times calls it a "tense call," while Politico reports that several GOP officials were "alarmed" by Trump's attack. The officials tried easing tensions with Adelson, but associates of the 87-year-old casino magnate say it's unclear whether he'll keep backing Trump.

Meanwhile, with the election less than three months away, groups supporting Joe Biden are outspending their pro-Trump rivals nearly 3-to-1. "We are getting clobbered," says Dan Eberhart, a GOP contributor who points to an "enthusiasm gap among super PAC donors." Other Republicans say Trump has little interest in cold-calling, grooming, glad-handing, and other activities associated with super PAC fundraising. As for Adelson, Business Insider reports that he's worth nearly $30 billion and was expected to donate between $100 million and $200 million to Trump's 2020 campaign. His earlier support earned him the moniker "Trump's Patron-in-Chief." (Trump gave him something special in 2018.)

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