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Casino magnate Adelson sides with establishment over Bannon in GOP Senate battles

Casino magnate Adelson sides with establishment over Bannon in GOP Senate battles USA TODAYReport: Adelson splits with Bannon over 2018 efforts The HillTrouble in Zion: Mega-Donor Sheldon Adelson Won't Support Bannon's War on the GOP Vanity FairFull coverage

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Casino magnate Adelson sides with establishment over Bannon in GOP Senate battles

WASHINGTON — Nevada casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is siding with the Republican Party's establishment forces and against former White House adviser Stephen Bannon in the escalating battle over the future of the U.S. Senate.

Adelson and his wife, who are among the GOP's largest donors, "will not be supporting Steve Bannon's efforts," Adelson spokesman Andy Abboud told Politico.

"They are supporting Mitch McConnell 100 percent," he added, referring to the Senate's majority leader.

Bannon, a former senior adviser to President Trump who now runs Breitbart News, has actively sought to cultivate Republican donors to help bankroll challenges to Senate incumbents or to encourage contributors to close their wallets to McConnell and his allies.

Bannon did not respond on the record to Adelson's move. But a person close to the Breitbart chief said that Bannon had never sought financial support from Adelson and only discussed Israel during a recent meeting with the casino executive.

Bannon has promised to topple McConnell from his Senate perch and has actively backed upstart GOP candidates against Senate incumbents, including Alabama's Roy Moore. Moore, the Republican nominee in next month's special election, has been engulfed in scandal after accusations he pursued romantic relationship with teenagers when he was in his 30s.

Adelson supported Trump's candidacy in 2016 but also donated $17.5 million last year to the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC affiliated with McConnell and his efforts to elect mainstream Republicans to the Senate.

The Senate Leadership group spent nearly $5 million to help Moore's opponent, Alabama Sen. Luther Strange, in the state's GOP primary earlier this year. The super PAC also has waged war with Bannon in recent weeks, slamming him and Breitbart on Twitter.

More: McConnell-aligned super PAC says to help 2018 chances it's going after Bannon and Breitbart

More: Mitch McConnell says Roy Moore 'not fit' to serve in the Senate, won't rule out expulsion option

Chris Pack, a spokesman for the McConnell-tied PAC, said the organization is in fine financial shape. Senate Leadership and an affiliated group, One Nation, raised $7.1 million in the third quarter of this year, which organizers tout as their best July-to-September fundraising quarter in a non-election year.

But Pack acknowledged that GOP donors are eager to see the Republican-controlled Congress pass a tax overhaul and "get points on the board" after stumbling on other legislative objectives, such as repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

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