News Release

Billionaires Fueling Trump on Iran Deal, Jerusalem Move

Politico reports Thursday: “Sheldon Adelson kicks in $30M to stop Democratic House takeover.”

ELI CLIFTON, eliclifton at gmail.com, @EliClifton
Clifton is a Nation Institute fellow and contributing editor to the foreign policy analysis website LobeLog. He just wrote the piece “Follow The Money: Three Billionaires Paved Way For Trump’s Iran Deal Withdrawal.”

Clifton writes: “President Donald Trump has just fulfilled a campaign pledge to tear up the Obama administration’s signature foreign policy achievement, a multilateral agreement constraining Iran’s nuclear enrichment (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA). In doing so, the president went against the advice of, among many others, his secretary of defense, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA), Washington’s three most important European allies, and almost-two thirds of Americans who believe that the U.S. should not withdraw from the deal, according to a CNN poll released on Tuesday morning.”

The move “may have been exactly what two of Trump’s biggest donors, Sheldon Adelson and Bernard Marcus, and what one of his biggest inaugural supporters, Paul Singer, paid for when they threw their financial weight behind Trump. Marcus and Adelson, who are also board members of the Likudist Republican Jewish Coalition, have already received substantial returns on their investment: total alignment by the U.S. behind Israel, next week’s move of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and the official dropping of ‘occupied territories’ to describe the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

“Adelson, for his part, was Trump and the GOP’s biggest campaign supporter. He and his wife Miriam contributed $35 million in outside spending to elect Trump, $20 million to the Congressional Leadership Fund (a super PAC exclusively dedicated to securing a GOP majority in the House of Representatives), and $35 million to the Senate Leadership Fund (the Senate counterpart) in the 2016 election cycle.

“Trump, who had previously complained that Adelson was seeking to ‘mold [Marco Rubio] into the perfect little puppet,’ quickly snapped around and echoed Adelson’s hawkish positions on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem after Trump won the Republican nomination and secured Adelson’s backing.”