Trasncript from NBC News:
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And welcome back. The road to the White House is paved, of course, with lots of money. And candidates from both parties are going to spend an eye-popping amount on their campaigns this cycle. So this week, we begin a new series that's called Meet the Money: The Billionaire Donors. It will focus on this small group of the super wealthy who would like to have huge influence on the 2016 race.
First up in our series is the casino mogul, Sheldon Adelson. He's worth an estimated $30 billion. And in fact in 2012, he already spent $100 million in his attempt to defeat Barack Obama. Here's Kelly O'Donnell now with a report that was produced in collaboration with the investigative reporting program at UC Berkeley.
A season in politics now known as the Adelson primary. Republican presidential hopefuls eager to attract support and maybe millions from casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. And making the pilgrimage to Adelson's Las Vegas Venetian hotel, vying for the blessing of his Republican-Jewish coalition. This year's roster included former Texas governor Rick Perry.
How in the hell are we supposed to trust Iran on an--
And the candid Senator Ted Cruz.
It is not complicated for Republican politicians to come to the RJC and say, "We should stand with Israel."
All hoping their views will somehow align with a hawkish, self-described pro-choice, socially liberal Republican, whose wealth could catapult their campaigns. His donations in the last year include more than $63,000 to the Republican National Committee, $5 million to the Congressional Leadership Fund, and $10 million to Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS. Adelson and his money are so influential that in his home state of Nevada, even Democrats, like Harry Reid, are reluctant to take him on.
I know Sheldon Adelson. He's not in this for money. He's not in this to make money. He's in it because he has certain ideological views.
And while Adelson is now accustomed to holding political court, he's recently been spending time in a court of law, making a rare appearance in a case brought by a former top executive at his casino empire. A case that raises questions about the sources of Adelson's much sought after fortune.
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Steven Jacobs ran Adelson's ambitious Macau casino venture off the coast of China. When that business exploded and made Adelson one of the wealthiest men in the world. Jacobs said in a deposition that he was fired from his job after he objected to what he called the casino's illicit business practices.
Did I report the activities of some of the specific allegations that Sheldon Adelson was personally involved in wrongdoing, illegal and immoral activities, you bet.
Jacobs claims that those activities included rampant prostitution and loan sharking, potential money laundering, an involvement with Chinese gangs known as "triad," who allegedly brought in high-stakes gamblers on so-called junkets. A combative Adelson disputed the allegations.
We have no intention and will not do things that violate any law.
He said he saw no proof that triads operated junkets to his Macau casino. And that Jacobs' plan to stop junkets to his casino would have financially decimated the enterprise.
This was insanity. You purposely tried to kill the company.
Adelson's had ongoing federal investigations brought on by Jacobs' allegations--
He's squealed like a pig squeals.
--will soon vindicate him. I'm Kelly O'Donnell for Meet the Press.