Rand Paul: Sheldon Adelson Isn’t Planning to Attack Me in 2016

Reports that the pro-Israel billionaire is preparing to bankroll an anti-Paul movement are based on “falsehoods,” the senator says.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), speaking to students at Howard University in Washington, DC on April 10, 2013
National Journal
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Shane Goldmacher
March 4, 2015, 9:49 a.m.

Sen. Rand Paul says Sheldon Adelson has assured him that he has no plans to spend money against Paul’s expected presidential campaign.

The New York Times reported last week that Adelson, a billionaire campaign financier and a hawkish Israel defender, has told people he is open to funding efforts to stop Paul — who is more of a non-interventionist — if the Kentucky Republican finds some success in the 2016 primaries. The Adelsons spent around $100 million on super PACs in 2012.

But Paul said Wednesday that Adelson contradicted those reports at an in-person meeting earlier this week.

“I sat down with he and his wife yesterday and they assured me there was no truth to that,” Paul said on the radio show Jewish Moments in the Morning on Wednesday, “That was somebody spreading falsehoods.”

Paul has aggressively courted Adelson, who was in Washington to watch Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu address a joint session of Congress, and other top Jewish Republican donors in the last year. Paul said on the program that he and the Adelsons also discussed his legislation to cut off funding for the Palestinian Authority. “We have good relations and we had a great and very informative discussion,” Paul said.

Paul also addressed the topic of the pace of his clapping at the Netanyahu speech (some argued it was overly lethargic). “Hopefully there are some thinking folks out there who are not going to succumb that nonsense,” he said.

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