Because of Senate and White House pressure, Trump campaigns for the candidate opposed by Steve Bannon.
While Donald Trump campaigns for Luther Strange to be a Senator for Alabama, Steve Bannon endorses Judge Roy Moore. As Breitbart points out, Senators threatened to retire if Moore won in order to get Trump to go to Alabama and visibly support Strange. Kellyanne Conway also joined her influence to get the President and Vice-President to go to Alabama.
Are the Deplorables about to overrule Trump?
The Washington Post reports that the White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly opposed Trump going to Alabama because of the consequences if Strange lost.
Senate Republicans, however, were unwilling to let the president turn his attention elsewhere. A Strange defeat, they worried, could prompt some GOP senators to retire to avoid facing the wrath of anti-establishment voters and the likes of Bannon’s Breitbart News.
Kelly, who came around to backing the rally, was also told by several senators that Republicans might be hesitant to fully back Trump’s agenda if they were uncertain about his support for them.
As Trump mulled his options last week, McConnell spoke with Trump, and Gardner encouraged his Senate Republican colleagues to tap their own political networks on behalf of Strange, associates said.
“It was a reminder to the conference,” Gardner said of his remarks, which were recounted by several attendees. “The race is a snapshot in time, so you don’t want to put too much weight into it, but it’s important.”
Last Friday, after Corker’s meeting with Trump, strategist Ward Baker briefed Trump and Pence by phone on the Alabama landscape. Baker advises the Senate Leadership Fund, a McConnell-aligned super PAC that has poured more than $8 million into Alabama to support Strange. Kelly, as well as legislative affairs director Marc Short and Pence chief of staff Nick Ayers, also participated, people familiar with the discussion said.
Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, said she impressed upon Trump how much power his visit could have in Alabama and reminded him that all five of the candidates he backed in special elections this year won.
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