This story is developing.
Update: The White House announced Wednesday evening that the president had canceled his planned travel to Nevada and Colorado out of an “abundance of caution.” The Republican Jewish Coalition postponed the event.
Original article follows.
The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) is planning to go ahead with its annual leadership conference in Las Vegas this weekend — and President Donald Trump will be addressing the gathering, along with other senior officials.
The event will mark the first major public address by the president in front of a large audience since rival 2020 candidates began canceling rallies, citing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.
Trump also spoke there last year, as did Vice President Mike Pence. This year, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley are expected, as are House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and other elected Republicans.
RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks confirmed Tuesday to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the event was still on, noting that the group had only had a cancelation rate of about 10%.
Brooke tweeted a photograph Wednesday of a pile of hand sanitizer bottles, labeled with the RJC logo:
— Matt Brooks (@mbrooksrjc) March 11, 2020
Bill Kristol, a Never Trump stalwart, tweeted that the RJC was “irresponsible” to continue with the event, and suggested that the only reason the Jewish organization was going ahead was because of Sheldon Adelson’s money:
Totally irresponsible to go ahead with this. But Adelson is both conference host and the main funder of the Republican Jewish Coalition, and they’re scared to cross him. By the way, I assume Trump’s proposed bailout will include money for Sheldon’s hotels.https://t.co/N5tqMJFk8q
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) March 10, 2020
Adelson, a casino magnate and Republican mega-donor, is hosting the event at his Venetian resort.
.@BillKristol we’ve known each other a long time- you could’ve called me to ask before tweeting falsehoods and fabrications. I have not had a single conversation with Sheldon or ANYONE from the Venetian about whether we should cancel. This has never been a factor in our decision https://t.co/5LTHuHYOPA
— Matt Brooks (@mbrooksrjc) March 10, 2020
1,500 attended the gathering last year.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.