President Donald Trump brought up Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson’s Japanese Casino interests with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe in February of last year, ProPublica reported Wednesday.
The discussion came after Adelson — the casino magnate, deep-pocketed Republican donor and, ultimately, a major beneficiary of Republicans’ tax legislation — had breakfast with Abe and a “small group of American CEOs, including two others from the Casino industry,” according to ProPublica.
The Japanese Diet had just passed a law to legalize casino gambling at the time, and is currently assessing applications for just three casino licenses.
Trump’s discussion of Adelson with Abe, according to an unnamed person briefed on the exchange, “was totally brought up out of the blue,” the source told ProPublica.
“They were a little incredulous that he would be so brazen,” the source said. Trump mentioned another company as well, though accounts differ as to whether it was MGM or Wynn Resorts, then still led by alleged sexual assaulter and then-Republican National Committee finance chairman Steve Wynn. “Abe didn’t really respond, and said thank you for the information,” the source said.
Adelson said on a recent call, per ProPublica: “The estimates by people who know, say they know, whom we believe they know, say that we’re in the No. 1 pole position” for a Japanese casino license.
So begins a lengthy profile of the influential Adelson. Read it in full here.