According to a report from Politico, Donald Trump may have alienated one of the Republican Party's top donors last week after complaining to Las Vegas businessman Sheldon Adelson that he didn't think that billionaire was doing enough to bolster his faltering re-election campaign.
That phone call — described as "contentious" — has Republican Party officials panicked that Adelson may hold back million-dollar contributions to the party in an election year where GOP candidates are already struggling to hang onto their seats.
According to the report, Trump "connected by phone last week with Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson — perhaps the only person in the party who can cut a nine-figure check to aid his reelection — the phone call unexpectedly turned contentious."
Politico goes on to note that Adelson wanted to talk about the latest round of coronavirus aid being negotiated in Congress, but the president turned the conversation to his re-election prospects and the need for more support.
According to one insider who was privy to the call, "it was apparent the president had no idea how much Adelson, who's donated tens of millions of dollars to pro-Trump efforts over the years, had helped him. Adelson chose not to come back at Trump."
Word of the turn the call took has shaken up high-ranking Republican officials who have previously been able to count on major contributions from the billionaire, with Politico reporting, "They rushed to smooth things over with him, but the damage may have been done."
"The president needs the money. With less than three months until the election, he is overwhelmed by a flood of liberal super PAC spending that his party has failed to match. Since this spring, outside groups supporting Joe Biden have outspent their pro-Trump counterparts nearly 3-to-1, an influx that's helped to erase the president's longstanding financial advantage," the report notes. "Now, Republican leaders are pleading to billionaires for help. Trump advisers are pining for new outside groups to form, and the White House is growing anxious to see what Adelson, who has pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into Republican super PACs over the past decade, will do."
According to Dan Eberhart, a Republican donor, the possible loss of big donations from the likes of Adelson could not have come at a worse time.
"We are getting clobbered," he explained. "The left-leaning super PACs are bringing a lot more air support to team Biden than the ones on the right are bringing to team Trump, unfortunately."
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