“They want you to focus on your jobs. Don’t worry who they are,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal reporters quoted publisher Michael Schroeder in an online article, after he called a meeting on Thursday, December 10, to inform them that the newspaper had been sold the day before to News + Media Capital Group, about which next to no information was available, according to the Washington Post. The print articles and current online editions do not contain the quote.
Speculation had swirled over the past week, with Sheldon Adelson topping a list of potential candidate buyers. Other names tossed around included Larry Flynt, Steve Wynn, and Tony Hsieh. It appears that Sheldon Adelson, CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS), is behind News + Media Group, but he had reportedly declined any chance to comment, and the information was only learned after extensive research and media coverage by the Washington Post, Fortune, and the The New York Times.
It has been suggested that Adelson wanted the news to remain private until after the Republican debate that was held in Las Vegas on Tuesday evening, December 16, as reported by the Inquisitr.
However, at the debate, Adelson was quoted as stating that he has “no personal interest” in the Las Vegas Review-Journal by CNN, directly refuting what is now being widely reported.
Donald Trump made statements with regard to a meeting between himself and Adelson in Las Vegas the afternoon before the GOP debate.
“Sheldon knows that I’m in town because of the debate, and he’s been a friend of mine for a long time,” Donald Trump was quoted. “He called to see whether or not we could meet, and we are going to meet.”
The Washington Post cited three sources who claimed that the meeting was actually sought by Trump and his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski.
Sheldon Adelson is looking to give big dollars to Rubio because he feels he can mold him into his perfect little puppet. I agree!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2015
Sheldon Adelson is the 18th richest person in the United States, with a net worth of $31.4 billion, according to Forbes. In 2012, he gave a super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich over $21 million, and Adelson is a huge supporter of the Republican Party, according to the New York Times. Adelson is richer than Donald Trump, who has a reported net worth of $4.5 billion, according to Forbes.
All of these things make Sheldon Adelson one of the few people in the United States who wields power over, and commands respect from, Donald Trump. Not that Trump needs his money, but Trump doesn’t want Adelson pouring millions into a campaign to back a rival, such as Marco Rubio, or anyone else. It would certainly be interesting to be able to listen-in on a private conversation between Donald Trump and Sheldon Adelson.
The word seems to be that Adelson is leaning toward backing Marco Rubio for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. It is this fact that appears to have Donald Trump worried. Worried enough, at least, that he feels compelled to tweet his seeming belief that Rubio is a “puppet” of Adelson.
Further fueling the mystery is the fact that Adelson has been connected to Ng Lap Seng, who was arrested in September for bringing $4.5 million in undeclared cash into the United States between 2013 and 2015, claiming that the money was used to “buy art, antiques, or real estate or be used for gambling,” according to Business Insider.
Ng has been tied to cases involving questionable transfers of money dating back to the 1996 presidential elections with the Democratic National Committee. Ng was said to have collaborated with Charles Tries, from Little Rock, Arkansas, in funneling “hundreds of thousands” in foreign donations, according to a 1998 U.S. Senate report.
Ng Lap Seng, a billionaire, was described as a “courier or messenger” between Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands and the Chinese government with regard to “problems” facing the company that could be solved “for a $300 million payment.” Las Vegas Sands owns properties in Macau and is one of only six companies allowed to operate casinos in the Chinese resort.
The $140 million Adelson is alleged to have paid for the Review-Journal is said to be about 75 percent, or $60 million, more than what the newspaper was valued at just nine months ago when it was purchased by News + Media Capital Group from New Media Investment Group.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reported to have a daily circulation of 98,000, with 119,000 on Sundays.
“It’s time for the new owners to take off their mask and prove they have nothing to hide,” Nevada congresswoman Dina Titus was quoted with regard to whoever is behind the new ownership, yesterday in the Nevada Legislature.
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]