Donald Trump (L) and Sheldon Adelson.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
US presidential candidate Donald Trump and billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson met privately last week at the St. Regis Hotel in New York, The New York Times reported on Sunday.
There has been a financial standoff between Adelson and the Republican Party since May, when the businessman pledged $100 million to Trump’s campaign. Though promised, neither Adelson nor his wife, Miriam, have since contributed to Trump, to groups supporting him, or to the Republican National Committee.
The Times noted Adelson may still be apprehensive about which super PAC should be the vehicle for his donation, which would account for the delay. But a source told The Guardian that Adelson had been “irked by a lot of things” regarding the Trump campaign, including the fact that he pressed for the candidate to visit Israel, which he has not done.
Or maybe Adelson met with Trump to encourage him to be a bit more humble. Five republicans who were briefed on the meeting, but not authorized to speak on it, told the Times that Adelson – who has long been one of the party’s largest donors – told Trump he was committed to his campaign, but urged the candidate to demonstrate “a measure of humility.”
The chief indicator that Adelson succeeded is that the conversation took place just before Trump spoke at a Charlotte, North Carolina, rally last Wednesday, as he sought to refocus his message in the face of falling opinion polls. Trump apologized for past remarks that “may have caused personal pain,” in his speech there, the candidate’s first since the recent shake-up of his campaign team.
“Sometimes, in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don’t choose the right words or you say the wrong thing,” Trump told the crowd. “I have done that, and I regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain. Too much is at stake for us to be consumed with these issues.”
Trump did not cite any examples of such remarks. The New York businessman has made his “tough talk” and brash style a selling point of his campaign for the November 8 election, rarely apologizing in the face of criticism even from within his own party for comments insulting women, Muslims and Mexican immigrants.
Was the contrition thanks to Adelson? Will funding flow post-mea culpa? It all remains to be seen.Reuters contributed to this report.