The Kingmaker: Trump Reveals How He Picks Who To Endorse

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Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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President Donald Trump touted his success in endorsing candidates throughout the 2018 primary elections and revealed how he picks who to endorse, in an exclusive Oval Office interview with The Daily Caller.

“It’s very much my gut instinct coupled with a lot of talented people that I have that know where these people have come from over the last two years,” Trump said of how he picks who to endorse, adding, “sometimes I’ll have a nasty Never-Trumper and every once in a while it’s recoverable but generally speaking if somebody is that much opposed … Now if somebody is opposed that’s one thing, if they’re that much opposed to a tune of coming up with the Never-Trumper type stigma it’s rare that I’ll get involved.”

Trump’s influence has been heavily felt throughout primary races across the U.S. with the ability to turn a race on its head with a single presidential tweet. He noted repeatedly that his record of endorsement wins in recent months is 48-1 and discounted the Wyoming race in which he picked a losing candidate.

“I was asked to do that, by my son Don, and I did it, but I did it, I was asked the morning of. And by the time I did it I guess 70%, almost 70% of the vote was already cast,” Trump said.

Trump could not name which primary race he was most proud of intervening in but pointed to “the Republican governor of Georgia. He was down 10 and I endorsed him and I think he won 70-30. He won by forty points. I did that endorsement at the request and I liked him a lot,” adding that, “there are a lot of them. I would say of the list of 48 victories, I would say that close to half of them were races that could’ve been lost. ”

Trump pointed to the Kansas gubernatorial race and his support pushing Kris Kobach over the edge in the primary race against the sitting governor. “The governor of Kansas was running against somebody that has been, you know Kris [Kobach] who’s always been very strong Trump, right from the beginning. And you know he’s the governor of Kansas, he’s running against. Kris is a good man, so I endorsed him and he won.”

Trump also pointed toward his intervention in the Florida gubernatorial race between Ron DeSantis and Adam Putnam.  “He went up from 3 into the 20s. And then he started fundraising and did very well. And then he went from the 20s to win by 20 points. And that seems to be the one that people are most impressed with,” Trump said of his intervention on DeSantis’ behalf.