US Sen Tim Scott endorses ex-rival Donald Trump ahead of New Hampshire primary

On Friday night, Tim Scott, the Republican senator from South Carolina, has pledged for Donald Trump, according to a new Hill report.

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump shakes hands with Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., at a campaign event in Concord, N.H., Friday, Jan. 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)(AP)

The report says that a source close to Scott confirmed that the senator, who dropped out of the 2024 presidential race last year, will back Trump.

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Another report by Vanity Fair on Friday revealed that Trump has been trying to secure Scott’s endorsement before the South Carolina primary next month, where he will face his rival Nikki Haley, the former governor of the state.

Scott’s endorsement of Trump comes as the former president is getting ready to hold a rally in New Hampshire this weekend, ahead of the state’s primary next week.

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Scott backing Trump is a major blow to Haley

The US Senator’s decision is a setback for Haley, who appointed him to the U.S. Senate when she was the governor of South Carolina and is still running against Trump for the nomination before Tuesday’s vote in New Hampshire.

Scott, the only Black Republican in the Senate, will join the ranks of conservative U.S. lawmakers who have endorsed Trump, who won the Iowa caucus on Monday by a record margin.

Scott will travel with the former president from his Florida resort to New Hampshire later on Friday, the report claimed.

The New York Times was the first to report Scott’s endorsement of Trump, citing unnamed sources who were informed of the plan.

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Trump yet to acknowledge the endorsement

The former President did not mention Scott in a social media post on Friday morning, where he mentioned his upcoming trip to the New England state.

In 2012, Haley, who was then a U.S. House Representative, replaced the retiring U.S. Senator Jim DeMint with Scott, making him the first Black Republican in the chamber since 1979. As the nation’s highest-ranking Black Republican in a party that is mostly white, Scott’s endorsement could be crucial in a race where race has been a major issue.

Trump has intensified his attacks on Haley, using racial language to mock her Indian ancestry, while Haley has faced criticism for not acknowledging slavery as the root cause of the U.S. Civil War and for saying this week that the United States has never been a “racist” country.

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The sole Black Republican senator, on the other hand, has mostly avoided angering Trump despite some past criticism of the former president, especially on race. In 2017, Scott said Trump had “compromised his moral authority to lead” after the then-president said there were “very fine people on both sides” of a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville where a woman was killed.

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