Donald Trump ‘charms’ key Republican Party donor Sheldon Adelson

US billionaire and major Republican Party donor Sheldon Adelson said he met presidential candidate Donald Trump earlier this week, describing the current front-runner in the race for the Republican nomination as “very charming.”

Donald Trump ‘charms’ key Republican Party donor Sheldon Adelson

“It was very nice,” the gambling tycoon said when asked if he had met Trump, the current front-runner in polls of Republican voters, earlier in the week.

“He was very charming,” Adelson said in an interview in Macau, saying the pair had discussed Israel during their talk.

The 82-year-old chief executive of Las Vegas Sands Corp, the world’s biggest gambling company by market value, made his comments a few days after hosting the latest debate among Republican Party presidential candidates at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, where he is based.

Courted by most of the Republican candidates and widely expected to be the party’s top donor in the 2016 presidential election, Adelson said earlier during a news conference that he may wait until next February’s primaries to decide who to back. He described the field of Republican candidates as “all very good”. His backing is seen as critical to all of the candidates

Some 14 candidates are still in the race for the Republican Party nomination. The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll showed Donald Trump leading the field with support of 35% of Republican voters, with Ben Carson second on 12%, followed by Ted Cruz and former Florida governor Jeb Bush tied at 10%.

Ted Cruz
Ted Cruz

“We like a lot of the candidates, some more than the others,” Adelson said during the interview. “It’s changing every day. I saw in the news today that Trump said his percentage approval was 41%. Out of 14 candidates, 41% is unheard of.”

Asked what characteristics he would like the Republican party’s nominee to embody, Adelson said: “They have got to be able to win.”

Meanwhile, a top data staffer for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has been fired amid allegations that the campaign breached voter data from rival Hillary Clinton’s campaign, media reports said.

Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders

The breach occurred for a brief period on Wednesday when staff at Sanders’ campaign were able to view confidential information from the Democratic National Committee, according to the Washington Post and NBC.

Sanders’ campaign acknowledged the breach in a statement and blamed it on the Democratic Party’s software vendor and said it was an isolated incident, the reports said.

A person familiar with the matter told CNN that the staffer who was fired for accessing the voter data was Josh Uretsky, the campaign’s national data director.

Uretsky told CNN he was not trying to take data from Clinton’s operation.

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