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Adelson (center, face partially blocked) at Trump's inauguration. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump raised a bid from GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson to build a casino in Japan during a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, according to a report from ProPublica's Justin Elliott.

Why it matters: Abe and his aides were "incredulous" that Trump "would be so brazen," according to a source briefed on the conversation. The project is a top priority for Adelson, who donated $25 million to Trump's campaign and inauguration, because Japan only recently legalized casinos and the market is considered a "holy grail" in the industry, Elliot notes. Adelson dined with Trump the night prior to the meeting.

More from the report...

  • "Adelson has met with Trump or visited the White House at least six times since Trump’s election victory. The two speak regularly. Adelson has also had access to others in the White House."
  • "Adelson has already received a windfall from Trump’s new tax law, which particularly favored companies like Las Vegas Sands. The company estimated the benefit of the law at $1.2 billion."
  • On Adelson's top issue, Israel, "Trump has delivered. The administration has slashed funding for aid to Palestinian refugees and scrapped the Iran nuclear deal. Attending the recent opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, Adelson seemed to almost weep with joy, according to an attendee."

Responses: "The White House declined to comment on Adelson. The Japanese Embassy in Washington declined to comment. Sands spokesman Ron Reese declined to answer detailed questions but said in a statement: 'The gaming industry has long sought the opportunity to enter the Japan market. Gaming companies have spent significant resources there on that effort and Las Vegas Sands is no exception.'"

Go deeper: Read the full ProPublica report.

Go deeper

4 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.

The week markets went wild

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio

The markets just closed out a manic week.

Why it matters: Outsized — and in some cases historic — moves were evident across the board.