GOP Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada admitted Tuesday he voted for President Donald Trump after spending months criticizing the president.
Heller, who is vulnerable to a primary challenge by businessman Danny Tarkanian, harshly criticized Trump during the election and claimed he was “vehemently opposed” to Trump’s candidacy but refused to say whether he voted for Trump in the election. He broke his silence Tuesday with a text to a Nevada Independent reporter in which he wrote: “Yes, I voted for Donald Trump.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Danny Tarkanian, The Republican Taking On Nevada’s Dean Heller)
Heller’s acknowledgement of his vote comes after months of refusing to elaborate on the issue. He defended his refusal to answer the question in December, telling a Reno-Gazette Journal reporter that he doesn’t “think anybody cares” how he voted.
Heller gave Trump’s campaign donations to charity in 2015 on the basis that he was “vehemently opposed” to Trump, who he said “denigrates human beings.”
Despite this public rejection of Trump’s support, Heller has cooperated with Trump on roughly 90 percent of his agenda. While he has proven cooperative on certain issues, he defied Trump on health care by voting against Obamacare repeal. He has also attacked the proposed GOP budget as “anti-Nevada” and has fought vigorously against the Trump administration’s push to place a nuclear waste repository at Nevada’s Yuca Mountain.
Heller’s admission follows the launch of an attack website in which Tarkanian’s camp criticizes Heller’s refusal to firmly establish a position with respect to Trump.
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