Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon blamed Jared Kushner for President Donald Trump’s controversial endorsement of Republican Alabama Sen. Luther Strange, The Daily Caller has learned.
Trump endorsed Strange in early August amid a public feud between the president and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. A super PAC affiliated with McConnell has spent millions supporting Strange’s candidacy.
“McConnell shitz on [Donald Trump]. [Trump] endorses McConnell’s corrupt anti- Trump US Senate candidate Luther Strange wtf?” Trump confidant Roger Stone tweeted after the endorsement. The candidate that Trump was seen as most likely to back was Republican Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks.
Bannon privately charges that Kushner urged Trump to back Strange in an attempt to curry favor with Republican lawmakers, an Alabama political operative with knowledge of the situation told TheDC.
According to the operative, the president agreed with Kushner and called Strange out of the blue to let him know he had Trump’s backing. After Bannon and other advisers found out about the endorsement, the operative told TheDC, they informed Trump that Brooks was his guy and he shouldn’t be backing Strange.
Trump allegedly replied that it was too late now, and now that he had been endorsed, the Alabama senator has to win. A spokesman for Kushner declined to comment on the record. Bannon did not respond to a request for comment.
A White House official speaking on the condition of anonymity said Kushner never discussed the issue with the president.
Strange is now in a run-off with former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore. Bannon is now back at the helm of Breitbart, after leaving the White House in August. His site has been relentless in its support of Moore.
A poll released Wednesday shows Moore currently leading with 52 percent of the vote, while Strange trails at 36 percent.