President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday that he will travel to Alabama to support Sen. Luther Strange in the state’s Republican primary runoff election.
“I will be in Huntsville, Alabama, on Saturday night to support Luther Strange for Senate,” Trump wrote. “‘Big Luther’ is a great guy who gets things done!”
The announcement from Trump came the same day as Alabama Republican Rep. Mo Brooks, a House Freedom Caucus member who lost in the initial Aug. 15 primary, said he voted for Strange’s opponent Roy Moore.
Moore, a former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, has been leading Strange in polling and has gained key endorsements.
“The Judge has proven he’s not afraid of a fight for what is right, and he’s ready to take on DC’s swamp monsters and help make America great again. We need more bold leaders like Judge Moore who will fight for all of us in the U.S. Senate,” former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said in a statement backing Moore.
However, Trump has backed Strange, who received support from a super PAC allied with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Trump endorsed Strange in early August amid a public feud with McConnell.
An Alabama political operative with knowledge of the situation told The Daily Caller that former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon privately claimed that Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner urged the president to back the incumbent senator.
Bannon said that Kushner did this in order to gain support from Republicans on Capitol Hill, according to the source. A White House official told TheDC that Kushner never discussed the endorsement with the president.
Trump has continued to back Strange and the senator said in a statement that he is “proud to have President Trump’s endorsement in this race and I am looking forward to his trip to Alabama.”
The Republican primary run-off election will be on Sept. 26.