Ricketts Family to Back Trump After Opposing Him in Primaries

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks in Kenansville, North Carolina, on Sept. 20, 2016.

Photographer: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

The billionaire Ricketts family plans to spend about $1 million to support Donald Trump’s bid for the presidency, according to a political adviser, after trying to deny him the Republican nomination earlier this year.

The Ricketts are among the biggest and most influential conservative donors in the country, deriving their fortune from the Omaha, Nebraska-based TD Ameritrade brokerage, founded by Joseph Ricketts. Their plans for helping Trump were reported by CNN yesterday and confirmed by adviser Brian Baker today.

Baker wouldn’t discuss how the family plans to carry out the spending or whether they plan to work with Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino mogul. CNN reported that Adelson may give $5 million to a pro-Trump effort organized by the Ricketts family, and that he gave $20 million each to super political action committees supporting Republican House and Senate candidates.

The Ricketts family was the top funder of a negative advertising campaign earlier this year that was aimed at denying Trump the Republican nomination, contributing $5.5 million. The spending prompted Trump to attack them on Twitter, saying "they better be careful, they have a lot to hide!" 

Joseph Ricketts’ son Pete Ricketts, the governor of Nebraska, endorsed Trump in May.
Adelson would be the candidate’s biggest known backer by putting $5 million behind Trump, but it’s a far cry from the $100 million that he discussed directing to the Trump effort earlier this year. Representatives for Adelson didn’t respond to e-mails and phone calls seeking comment.

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