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White House official clarifies Trump’s “mistake” comment

Donald Trump at a rally in Mobile, Alabama, in December 2016. (MADISON OGLETREE)

By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

A White House official appeared to walk back one of President Donald Trump’s statements he made over the weekend at a rally in Huntsville.

Marc Short, the White House director of legislative affairs, told NBC News on “Meet the Press with Chuck Todd” on Sunday that Trump “supported Luther Strange from the start.”

At a rally in Huntsville, Trump told the crowd that he “might have made a mistake” in endorsing U.S. Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., in the upcoming special Senate election. Trump echoed similar sentiments the day after the August primary where he congratulated both Moore and Strange on Twitter on their performance in the primary and called it “an exciting race.”

Short told Todd that Trump and Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to campaign for Strange in Alabama show that the president is behind Strange. He also said that Trump “wants to see Luther Strange win.”

“The president has actually won all four of the special elections he’s been involved in this fall,” Short said. “So, we’re very confident that he’ll win again on Tuesday night.”

Short also made the prediction that former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones, the Democratic candidate, will not win the general election set for December.

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“If [Strange] loses, I think the reality is that the Republicans will still hold that seat,” Short said.

The president endorsed Strange in a tweet days before the August primary. Despite the endorsement, Moore won the primary by 7 percentage points and Strange placed second in the race.

Since the August primary, key Trump supporters, such as former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, have endorsed Moore.

A poll released by Emerson College on Monday puts Moore winning the race with 50 percent of the vote. The poll gave Moore a 95 percent chance of winning the runoff set for Tuesday.


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