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Trump deleted pro-Strange tweets during election night as Moore won

By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

President Donald Trump deleted three pro-Strange tweets from his Twitter account on the eve of the U.S. Senate Republican runoff.

Four tweets, cataloged by ProPublica, were deleted the night of the election after it was clear the Trump-backed Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., would lose.

Strange lost the election to former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore. It was clear early in the night that Moore won by a large margin.

“Big election in tomorrow in the Great State of Alabama,” Trump wrote on Sept. 26 at 1:50 a.m. “Vote for Senator Luther Strange, tough on crime & border-will never let you down!”

“Luther Strange has been shooting up in the Alabama polls since my endorsement,” Trump wrote on Sept. 26 at 10:55 a.m. “Finish the job-vote today for ‘Big Luther.’”

“ALABAMA, get out and vote for Luther Strange- he has proven to me that he will never let you down #MAGA,” Trump wrote on Sept. 26 at 1:31 p.m.

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The fourth tweet was congratulating Moore on his victory but incorrectly stated that the general election was in November. A corrected version of the tweet was released later in the night.

Trump was reportedly upset about Moore’s victory, and a source told CNN’s White House team that he was “embarrassed and pissed” about Strange’s defeat. The source told CNN that he felt “outdone by [Steve Bannon].”

Bannon endorsed Moore in the race and came to campaign for Moore on Monday along with other high-profile Trump supporters.

Politico also reported on election night that Trump had begun to distance himself from Strange, declaring to a group of conservative leaders at a dinner that he didn’t think the senator could win.

Trump’s visit to Alabama also came with a lukewarm endorsement of Strange.

Trump said he “might have made a mistake” in endorsing Strange at a rally in Huntsville on Friday. He said that loyalty is what drove him to endorse Strange.

Strange echoed similar sentiments on election night in Birmingham where he said he didn’t know why Trump endorsed him except for loyalty reasons.

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Tweets being deleted from Trump’s account have become the subject of a legal debate on presidential records. Some argue that any statements made from Trump’s Twitter account are his own personal records, while others argue that it is presidential record and illegal to delete.

Moore will now go to face Democratic candidate Doug Jones in December.

Original reporting from Politico and CNN contributed to this report.

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