Sheldon Adelson, after formally endorsing Donald Trump for president and offering his financial support, is now lobbying for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee among skeptical Republican Jewish leaders, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday.
“I’m asking for your support [for Trump],” Adelson implored in an email to more than 50 Republican Jewish leaders on Monday. According to the report, Adelson wrote that after meeting with Trump, he is “specifically convinced he will be a tremendous president when it comes to the safety and security of Israel.”
“Like many of you, I do not agree with him on every issue,” he wrote in the email. “However, I will not sit idly by and let Hillary Clinton become the next president. The consequences to our country, and Israel, are far too great to take that risk.”
The Republican Jewish Coalition, largely funded by Adelson, issued an unenthusiastic endorsement of Donald Trump once he was declared the presumptive presidential nominee. “The Republican Jewish Coalition congratulates Donald Trump on being the presumptive Presidential nominee of the Republican Party,” RJC’s national chairman David Flaum said in a statement. The statement went on to emphasize the need of defeating Hillary Clinton rather than about choosing their party’s new standard-bearer as the better choice in the general election. “Throughout the course of this long campaign, among Republicans, there has been unity in the belief that Hillary Clinton is the worst possible choice for a commander in chief,” Flaum stressed. “Secretary Clinton has proven time and again through her record and her policies that her candidacy will compromise our national security, weaken our economy and further strain our relationship with our greatest ally Israel.”
Several prominent Republican Jewish donors have already announced that they will not get involved in the presidential race, and will instead focus on down-ballot races. But RJC’s Executive Director Matt Brooks maintained in an interview with the Jewish Journal, “As this race materializes, and as we move through this process, and you really get people focused on a binary choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, I think you’ll see a lot of the folks who have heretofore been critical coming around.”
On Friday, Adelson formally announced his endorsement of Trump and urged Republicans to follow suit. “If Republicans do not come together in support of Trump, [President Barack] Obama will essentially be granted something the Constitution does not allow — a third term in the name of Hillary Clinton,” he wrote in an Op-Ed published by The Washington Post. “I’ve spent time talking to Donald Trump. Do I agree with him on every issue? No. But it’s unlikely that any American agrees with his or her preferred candidate on every issue.”
The New York Times later reported that Adelson told Trump in a private meeting last week that he was willing to contribute more than $100 million to help elect him in the fall. During the meeting, Trump reportedly assured Sheldon and his wife Miriam Adelson that he was dedicated to protecting Israel’s security.