Adel­son re­jects Ban­non’s chal­lenge to GOP es­tab­lish­ment

Jerusalem Post - - NEWS -

WASH­ING­TON (JTA) – Shel­don Adel­son, the bil­lion­aire casino mag­nate, will not back Steve Ban­non’s planned chal­lenges to es­tab­lish­ment Repub­li­can sen­a­tors.

“The Adel­sons will not be sup­port­ing Steve Ban­non’s ef­forts,” Andy Ab­boud, an Adel­son spokesman told Politico on Mon­day, re­fer­ring to Adel­son and his wife, Miriam. “They are sup­port­ing Mitch McCon­nell,” the Ken­tucky sen­a­tor who is the Se­nate ma­jor­ity leader, “100 per­cent. For any­one to in­fer any­thing oth­er­wise is wrong.”

Ban­non, who was US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s strate­gic ad­viser from Jan­uary to Au­gust, had praised Adel­son lav­ishly at a gala din­ner Sun­day or­ga­nized by the Zion­ist Or­ga­ni­za­tion of Amer­ica, one of an ar­ray of right-wing pro-Is­rael groups heav­ily backed by Adel­son. Adel­son was not present at the din­ner.

Ban­non has since re­turned to his old job helm­ing Bre­it­bart News.

He is still close to the pres­i­dent, and has vowed to mount pri­mary chal­lenges to all but one in­cum­bent Repub­li­can in the 2018 midterm elec­tions, as well as to es­tab­lish­ment picks in the 25 races where Repub­li­cans will chal­lenge Democrats. Eight Repub­li­cans are up for re­elec­tion. Ban­non’s ex­cep­tion among the in­cum­bents is Texas Sen­a­tor Ted Cruz.

The an­nounce­ment comes as Roy Moore, the Repub­li­can nom­i­nee for Alabama’s Se­nate seat in a spe­cial elec­tion next month, is en­gulfed in al­le­ga­tions that he sex­u­ally as­saulted teenagers nearly 40 years ago when he was in his 30s. Ban­non had backed Moore against McCon­nell’s pick, Sen­a­tor Luther Strange.

Last month, Jewish lead­ers whom Adel­son is close to ex­co­ri­ated McCon­nell when his for­mer aides mounted a cam­paign against Ban­non, al­leg­ing that he was an an­ti­semite and a bigot.

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