After months of remaining neutral in the Republican battle for the presidential nomination, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson on Thursday said he will back the party’s presumptive nominee, Donald Trump.
“Yes, I’m a Republican, he’s a Republican,” Adelson said in an interview with the New York Times. “He’s our nominee. Whoever the nominee would turn out to be, any one of the 17—he was one of the 17. He won fair and square.”
Adelson, a fierce supporter of pro-Israel causes, also told a BBC reporter on Thursday he would support Trump as the nominee, believing the real estate magnate would be a strong ally to Israel:
— Bahman Kalbasi (@BahmanKalbasi) May 6, 2016
The GOP megadonor, who spent a reported $150 million in the 2012 election, had previously abstained from weighing in on the primary battles—although it was widely believed Sen. Marco Rubio had secured Adelson’s favor. With Rubio long gone and Trump now uncontested, Adelson becomes the latest Republican to get in line with the party’s likely challenger against Hillary Clinton in the general election.
As for Trump, he appeared to have sought Adelson’s approval from the outset: Last summer, Trump sent Adelson a book of photographs of himself receiving an award for promoting US-Israel relations with the note, “Sheldon, no one will be a bigger friend to Israel than me” on the cover.