Wife of GOP megadonor to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

• Nov 10, 2018

President Donald Trump is set to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the nation’s highest civilian honor — to the wife of one of the Republican Party’s most prominent patrons, the White House announced Saturday.

Miriam Adelson will receive the medal along with six other “distinguished individuals” at a ceremony on Friday, the White House said. She is married to billionaire Las Vegas casino magnate and GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson, who joined Trump for a watch party at the White House residence on Tuesday evening to monitor the incoming returns from the 2018 midterm elections.

The Adelsons in recent months have emerged as the Republican Party’s biggest financial backers, contributing more than $113 million to GOP causes during the 2018 election cycle. Among those donations, the couple gave $25 million in July to the Senate Leadership Fund, $2 million in September to ESAFund, $3 million in July and September to the Republican Governors Association, and roughly $40 million between May and September to the Congressional Leadership Fund.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is bestowed upon those who have made “especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors,” according to the White House.

In its brief biography of Miriam Adelson, the White House described her as “a committed doctor, philanthropist, and humanitarian,” as well as “a committed member of the American Jewish community.”

Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist at Public Citizen, said: "The Medal of Freedom has always been awarded based on service, as the award is intended. Trump uniquely envisions government service as a business for self-enrichment, and so it comes as no surprise at all that Trump would award an otherwise honorable medal to Adelson on the grounds of who gives him the most money."

The other 2018 honorees include Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), former football player and retired Minnesota Supreme Court justice Alan Page, Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, and, posthumously, singer Elvis Presley, baseball great Babe Ruth and former Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia.

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You can read the full article by Quint Forgey here

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