US Senator Scott to endorse ex-rival Trump in blow to Haley

US Senator Scott to endorse ex-rival Trump in blow to Haley

US Senator Scott to endorse ex-rival Trump in blow to Haley By Reuters

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Published Jan 19, 2024 12:45PM ET
Updated Jan 19, 2024 04:35PM ET

© Reuters. U.S. President Donald Trump greets Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) as he welcomes the 2018 College Football Playoff National Champion Clemson Tigers at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 14, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

By Gram Slattery

NASHUA, New Hampshire (Reuters) -U.S. Senator Tim Scott, who had campaigned against Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination, will endorse his former rival at a rally in New Hampshire on Friday night, according to a source briefed on the matter.

The move by Scott is a blow to Nikki Haley, a former South Carolina governor who first appointed him to the U.S. Senate and is still campaigning against Trump for the nomination ahead of Tuesday’s contest in New Hampshire.

Scott, the lone Black Republican in the Senate, will be the latest conservative U.S. lawmaker to endorse Trump, who won Iowa’s caucus on Monday by a historic margin. Scott is set to fly with the former president from his Florida resort to New Hampshire later on Friday, the source said.

The decision by Scott, who ended his campaign in November, was first reported by the New York Times, which cited unidentified sources briefed on the plan.

A spokesperson for Scott did not respond to a request for comment. Representatives for Trump also did not respond.

Trump did not mention Scott in a social media post on Friday morning citing his upcoming travel to the New England state.

In 2012, Haley appointed then U.S. House Representative Scott to replace retiring U.S. Senator Jim DeMint, making him the first Black Republican in the chamber since 1979.

Now the nation’s top elected Black Republican in a party whose base is majority white, Scott’s endorsement could be critical in a contest where race has become a dominant theme.

Trump has stepped up his attacks on Haley, including racial language mocking her Indian heritage, while Haley has been criticized for not citing slavery as the cause of the U.S. Civil War and for this week saying the United States has never been a racist country.

Scott, meanwhile, has largely managed to avoid drawing Trump’s ire despite some previous criticism of the former president, including over race.

In 2017, Scott said Trump had “compromised his moral authority to lead” after the then-president cited “very fine people on both sides” of a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville where one woman was killed.

US Senator Scott to endorse ex-rival Trump in blow to Haley

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