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US House Majority Whip Tom Emmer Endorses Trump For President

Donald Trump secured the endorsement of Tom Emmer on Wednesday, completing a full House of Republican leaders backing the former US president even though Trump dynamited the majority whip’s own bid for speaker just two months ago.

“Democrats have made clear they will use every tool in their arsenal to try and keep Joe Biden and his failed policies in power,” Emmer said.

“We cannot let them. It’s time for Republicans to unite behind our party’s clear frontrunner, which is why I am proud to endorse Donald J Trump for president.”

Despite facing 91 criminal charges, assorted civil threats and removal from the ballot in Colorado and Maine over his incitement of the deadly January 6 attack on Congress, Trump leads presidential rivals including the Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, and former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley by vast polling margins.

In general election polling, he is competitive or enjoys leads over Biden.

Emmer, from Minnesota, followed the Republican House speaker, Mike Johnson, and majority leader, Steve Scalise (both from Louisiana) and Elise Stefanik of New York, the conference chair, in endorsing the man who sent supporters to the Capitol to try to stop certification of Biden’s 2020 win.

Even after rioters attacked the House chamber, 139 House Republicans and eight senators objected to results in key states. But Emmer was not among them and last October, after the far right ejected Kevin McCarthy as speaker, the Minnesotan followed Scalise and Jim Jordan of Ohio in failing to secure the role.

At the time, Trump said Emmer had called him and was his “biggest fan now” but also deemed him “totally out of touch with Republican voters”, lobbied Republicans to reject him and reportedly boasted: “He’s done. It’s over. I killed him.”

Emmer’s endorsement of his tormentor was therefore widely noted.

Rick Wilson, a former Republican operative turned co-founder of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, said: “Remember when you were on those anti-Trump calls in 2016, Tom?”

Tim Miller, another former Republican strategist turned Trump critic, chose to be more blunt: “Was Tom Emmer – who was viciously savaged by Trump and his allies during the failed speaker attempt – wearing a ball gag or a gimp mask when he sent this statement? Need some behind-scenes colour.”

Miller’s invective was matched by Trump’s campaign team, which said of Erin Perrine, a former Trump aide now working for DeSantis, “nothing can ever wash that foul stench of shit off her”. But regardless of such Republican infighting, endorsements for Trump kept coming in.

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The three other House Republicans from Minnesota – Brad Finstad, Michelle Fischbach and Pete Stauber – joined Emmer in backing Trump.

From the Senate, the Arkansas senator Tom Cotton, once seen as a possible Republican candidate, also gave Trump his backing.

“When Donald Trump was president,” Cotton said, “America was safe, strong and prosperous.”

He did not mention his own, infamous claim that regular troops needed to be used to quash protests for racial justice in 2020, when Trump was in the White House.

Overlooking the economic devastation wrought that same year by Covid-19, Cotton continued: “The economy was booming, working-class wages were growing, our border was secure, and our enemies feared us.”

“I endorse President Trump and I look forward to working with him to win back the White House and the Senate … it’s time to get our country back on track.”

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