President Trump on Wednesday praised Alabama Sen. Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangeThe biggest political upsets of the decade State ‘certificate of need’ laws need to go GOP frets over nightmare scenario for Senate primaries MORE (R) ahead of the state’s GOP primary runoff next week.
“Alabama is sooo lucky to have a candidate like ‘Big’ Luther Strange. Smart, tough on crime, borders & trade, loves Vets & Military. Tuesday!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Alabama is sooo lucky to have a candidate like “Big” Luther Strange. Smart, tough on crime, borders & trade, loves Vets & Military. Tuesday!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 20, 2017
The tweet comes ahead of the closely watched Tuesday election, when Strange will face off against former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore for the GOP nomination for a special election later this year that will determine who serves out the remainder of Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsMcCabe, Rosenstein spar over Russia probe Rosenstein takes fire from Republicans in heated testimony Rosenstein defends Mueller appointment, role on surveillance warrants MORE’s term.
Trump endorsed Strange in August ahead of the initial Republican primary, aligning himself with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote GOP senator to try to reverse requirement that Pentagon remove Confederate names from bases No, ‘blue states’ do not bail out ‘red states’ MORE (R-Ky.), who had indicated Strange as his pick in the election.
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But Strange is considered the establishment candidate by those seeking his ouster, which includes one of Trump’s former top advisers.
Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon is backing the conservative Moore, a move that breaks with his old boss. Bannon’s Breitbart News, which he returned to after departing from the White House, is also supporting the former Alabama judge.
Trump is slated to campaign in Huntsville, Ala., for Strange on Friday, while former White House aide Sebastian Gorka will campaign for Moore this weekend. Gorka also previously worked for Breitbart News as the website’s national security editor.