GOP mega-donor, casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, has publicly divorced himself from Steve Bannon’s efforts to remake the Republican Party by taking on sitting GOP senators next year.
‘The Adelsons will not be supporting Steve Bannon’s efforts,’ Adelson spokesman Andy Abboud told Politico. ‘They are supporting Mitch McConnell 100 per cent. For anyone to infer anything otherwise is wrong.’
Bannon was supposed to introduce Adelson and his wife Miriam at the Zionist Organization of America’s annual dinner on Sunday night, Politico also noted, but that didn’t happen.
A spokesman for casino mogul Sheldon Adelson (left) told Politico that the GOP mega-donor does not support Steve Bannon’s (right) efforts to primary sitting Republicans
Despite the introduction being a part of the evening’s program, the Adelsons didn’t show up because Sheldon Adelson was concerned about the optics of appearing onstage with Bannon, a source close to the couple told the publication.
By appearing together, the source noted, it could look like Adelson approved of Bannon’s efforts.
Bannon, who was President Trump’s White House chief strategist until August, has blamed the GOP-led Senate for much of his ex-boss’ failings in getting stuff done on Capitol Hill.
For instance, on an Obamacare repeal, the House passed a bill in May, while Senate efforts died for a second time in late September, causing Republicans in both the House and Senate to take up the cause of tax reform instead – which could also die in the Senate.
Bannon’s first effort to remake the Senate in a more Bannon-esque image came with his backing of Roy Moore over incumbent Sen. Luther Strange, who had been chosen by Alabama’s governor to fill the seat vacated by Jeff Sessions, now Trump’s attorney general.
Strange was being supported by McConnell and also by Trump.
However, Moore, the more populist and right-wing candidate, got selected by GOP primary voters, with Bannon campaigning for the former judge, who was twice removed from the state’s high court.
Now Moore’s in the midst of a underage sex scandal and refuses to leave the race, whereas Strange would have likely won the contest in the heavily Republican state with no problem.
Bannon has threatened to meddle with the Senate races in other states too, as he’s discussed taking on Sen. John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming, putting in the primary challenger, former Blackwater CEO and founder Erik Prince.
He’s also backed candidate Danny Tarkanian over incumbent Sen. Dean Heller, a Republican from Nevada.
At the Sunday dinner, Bannon lavished praise on Adelson, Politico said, with Bannon aides adding that they never expected to have the casino mogul’s monetary support.