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Sheldon and Miriam Adelson arrive at the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem in May. Photo: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino magnate, and his wife, Miriam, have given $55 million in the last few months to groups dedicated to retaining Republican control of Congress, the N.Y. Times Jeremy Peters reports.

Why it matters: "That makes them not only the largest donors to national Republican electoral efforts in this election cycle, but the biggest spenders on federal elections in all of American politics, according to publicly available campaign finance data."

"Despite initially harboring qualms about President Trump’s leadership, the Adelsons have found much to like ... unflinchingly pro-Israel, unaccommodating to Middle Eastern adversaries and dedicated to deregulation and lower taxes."

  • "In private in-person meetings and phone conversations, which occur between [Trump and Sheldon Adelson] about once a month, he has used his access to push the president to move the United States embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and, more recently, cut aid to the Palestinians."
  • "Trump has done both, triggering a backlash from some American allies."

Go deeper

Biden says he'll make Supreme Court pick by end of February

President Biden speaks on the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Thursday said he will announce the nominee for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer's replacement by the end of February.

Driving the news: Biden also affirmed that he will nominate a Black woman to replace Breyer, saying "it's long overdue."

Stephen Breyer formally announces retirement from Supreme Court

Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP

Justice Stephen Breyer on Thursday sent a letter to President Biden formally announcing his retirement from the Supreme Court.

State of play: Breyer said his retirement will take effect when the court "rises for the summer recess (typically late June or early July) assuming that by then my successor has been nominated and confirmed."

COVID created an epic U.S. trade gap

Chart: Axios Visuals. Data: Census Bureau/Bureau of Economic Analysis

The details of the blockbuster fourth quarter GDP report released Thursday morning tell a vivid story of how the underpinnings of the world economy have been reshaped by the pandemic.

One example: In the arithmetic around U.S. economic output, trade acted as a more severe drag last year than it has in a generation.