Billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is reportedly laying the groundwork for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to visit Israel this summer, sources close to the mogul told The Guardian
Adelson, along with a band of big-money conservative allies and the Republican Jewish Coalition, have already begun planning Trump’s anticipated visit, slated to take place before the Republican National Convention on July 18.
Speaking with The Guardian Saturday, chairman of the Zionist Organization of America, Mort Klein, seemed to confirm the prospect, saying Trump’s point man in Israel told him personally several weeks ago that Trump was “going to go there [Israel].”
Trump’s anticipated sojourn to the Holy Land follows shortly after Adelson indicated that he was prepared to make a hefty contribution to the real estate mogul’s presidential campaign as the race for the White House draws to its November finish line.
According to The New York Times, Adelson agreed to give upwards of $100 million dollars to the Trump campaign after the two spoke at a private meeting earlier this month.
“You may not like Trump’s style or what he says on Twitter, but this country needs strong executive leadership more today than at almost any point in its history,” Adelson wrote in an op-ed which appeared on The Washington Post’s website last week. “The world is less secure than ever, and our allies have lost confidence in our ability to lead.”
If the report is confirmed, this would not be the first attempt by Trump and his campaign to visit the Jewish state.
In December, Trump was forced to back out of a trip to Israel after coming under intense scrutiny for making anti-Muslim comments.
Trump triggered a global firestorm earlier that month when he said that the US should clamp a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States while we figure out what the hell is going on.”
“I have decided to postpone my trip and to schedule my meeting with Netanyahu at a later date after I become President of the US,” Trump said in a Twitter post shortly afterwards.
Asked by The Guardian if Trump was indeed coming to Israel, a spokesperson for the campaign stated that “there are no plans for a visit at this time.”