GOP megadonor receives Medal of Freedom after donating $500k to Trump aides’ legal expenses

The decision “perfectly captures the crassly transactional nature of Donald Trump and his presidency.”


Miriam Adelson, the wife of Sheldon Adelson, received the Medal of Honor late last year. Now the Washington Post has revealed that the two Adelsons together donated $500,000 just over a month beforehand to a fund set up to pay legal expenses incurred by aides to President Trump.

Both Adelson’s are GOP megadonors. No one gave more money to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. The Adelson’s donated $30 million to the campaign just in the final months leading up to the 2016 election. They also donated $100 million to various Republican candidates and GOP PACs during the midterm elections and $5 million to Trump’s inaugural committee. Prior to Trump, between the 2012 and 2018 election cycles, the couple gave approximately $295 million to GOP causes.

The fund that the Adelson’s donated to last year was set up to pay the expenses for aides involved in the investigation into whether Russia colluded with the Trump campaign. Miriam and Sheldon each donated $250,000 to the fund on October 1, 2018.

In November 2018, Miriam Adelson was one of seven individuals that received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. The White House stated Adelson was receiving the award for being a “committed doctor, philanthropist, and humanitarian,” but many disagree.

“It’s ludicrous, and an insult to people who received the medal for genuine service,” The New York Times’ Paul Krugman wrote.

NBC’s Robert Schlesinger said the decision “perfectly captures the crassly transactional nature of Donald Trump and his presidency.”

The Adelsons are historically best known for their political activity, specifically their support of Israel. Sheldon Adelson is considered to be the most significant influence in Trump’s decision to move the Israeli embassy to Jerusalem.


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