In a move that has put former President Donald Trump at odds with his most fervent supporters, the former President inexplicably endorsed an establishment ‘Never Trumper,’ Morgan Ortagus, in a primary bid for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District.
The unexpected endorsement is a snub of staunch Trump ally and America First candidate Robby Starbuck, who announced his candidacy for the seat in June of 2021.
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Some of the most prominent Republican politicians and conservative voices took Trump to task for his endorsement of Ortagus. Conservative commentator Candace Owens voiced her opposition to the endorsement on Twitter:
Another strong Trump supporter in Congress, Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), also took to Twitter to reiterate his endorsement for Starbuck:
Another outspoken supporter of Donald Trump, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), stated that she would continue to back Starbuck saying that he “has been a champion for ‘America First’ for a long time.”
Trump supporter Sebastian Gorka weighed in:
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Besides snubbing Starbuck, the endorsement of Morgan Ortagus by Donald Trump is baffling based on her opposition to Trump and the America First views he holds.
Ortagus spent 2016 working for a Jeb Bush super PAC. She criticized Trump’s America First foreign policy as an “isolationist foreign policy approach,” and also described Trump as “disgusting” and “not serious.”
In a radio interview she said, “Quite frankly, I don’t want someone with the temperament of a middle school pubescent boy in the president’s office.”
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On top of all that, Ortagus has not even officially announced her candidacy.
Following the near-universal backlash from Trump supporters, an unnamed Trump aide called the nod “a misstep” that has created some rather tense feelings between Trump and his most ardent supporters.
Those deepest within the inner circle, Trump’s eldest son Don Jr. and social media director Dan Scavino, have criticized the endorsement.
It will be interesting to see if Trump acknowledges the mistake or simply moves ahead.
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