The campaign arm of House Democrats is apologizing to casino magnate Sheldon Adelson for claiming that his campaign contributions come from money earned from Chinese prostitution, weeks after the deep-pocketed Republican donor threatened to sue for defamation.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, in a press release Thursday, said that they made “unsubstantiated allegations” against Mr. Adelson, who they described as “a supporter of the opposing party.”
“This was wrong,” the DCCC release reads. “The statements were untrue and unfair and we retract them. The DCCC extends its sincere apology to Mr. Adelson and his family for any injury we have caused.”
Lawyers for Mr. Adelson sent the DCCC a letter last month demanding that they immediately retract and apologize for accusing him of encouraging and profiting from prostitution, while “maliciously branding Mr. Adelson as a pimp who has given ‘Chinese prostitution money’ to your political opponents.”
The apology comes after the DCCC seized on news reports about a former CEO of the Adelson gambling empire who claimed the Republican had ties to crime bosses and encourages prostution as part of its business strategy.
In boldfaced headline on June 29, the DCCC website read: “Breaking: House Republicans’ Biggest Donor Approve ‘Prostitution Strategy’ in China.”
After noting that Mr. Adelson contributed to House Republicans, the DCC posed the question: “What will Speaker [John] Boehner, Leader [Eric] Cantor, and House Republicans do with their Chinese Prostitution money?”
Jesse Ferguson, a DCCC spokesman, repeated the charges in a July 2 statement, in which he said “it’s past time for House Republican to reject the support of these groups funded by foreign money from a Chinese prostitution strategy.”