THE HAND THAT FEEDS

Report: Evangelicals, Donors Pressured Trump to Make Jerusalem Move

President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel came after persistent prodding by wealthy donors who supported him during his campaign, The New York Times reports. While Trump on Wednesday touted the move as a necessary step toward peace in the Middle East, his frequent meetings with Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson in the months before of the decision suggest he may have been trying to please supporters, the Times suggests. Adelson, a longtime donor to pro-Israel groups and advocate of moving the U.S. embassy, had reportedly phoned a friend 10 days before Trump took office to announce the soon-to-be president had promised to make the matter a priority. Adelson, who donated $20 million to a political action committee that supported Trump’s campaign, pushed Trump to keep his word and move the embassy. Trump was reportedly also under pressure by representatives of evangelical Christian groups. Ahead of his announcement Wednesday, the White House held two calls with religious leaders to inform them of Trump’s decision, with major Trump allies like Ralph Reed, the founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, and Mike Evans, a Christian Zionist, among those to be given a heads up, according to the report.