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Trump endorses a Pennsylvania U.S. Senate candidate he once condemned

SCHNECKSVILLE, Pa. — Former President Donald Trump backed former hedge fund CEO Dave McCormick on Saturday in Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race, after excoriating him two years earlier.

“I am officially giving my endorsement to David McCormick tonight,” Trump told the crowd. “He wants to run a good ship. He’s a smart guy who was a very successful guy. He’s given up a lot to do this. And I’ll tell you what, he’s the nominee of the Republican Party.”

McCormick, who is running unopposed in the April 23 GOP primary, is expected to take on Democratic Sen. Bob Casey in the general election. The swing state race could determine which party controls the Senate next year.

McCormick also ran in 2022 to replace retiring Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.). In that GOP primary, however, Trump endorsed celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz, who lost to Democratic Sen. John Fetterman.

During the 2022 race, Trump blasted McCormick, calling him “the candidate of special interests and globalists and the Washington establishment.” According to McCormick, Trump refused to endorse him when he wouldn’t say the 2020 election was stolen.

McCormick, who has endorsed Trump, did not attend the Schnecksville rally but thanked Trump on social media for the endorsement. One of several self-funding Republicans running for U.S. Senate this year, he’s less in need of fundraising help from the former president than others.

Casey, who is seeking a fourth term, has won each of his previous bids by a comfortable margin. But the race is expected to be one of the closest and most expensive Senate contests this year.

At his Saturday night rally, Trump also seized the opportunity to address the strike Iran launched against Israel few hours earlier, claiming it “would not have happened” if he were president.

“I want to say God bless the people of Israel. They’re under attack right now,” he said. “We show great weakness.”

As Trump pledged U.S. support for Israel, the crowd chanted “genocide Joe” — a term used by pro-Palestinian demonstrators as a way of criticizing President Biden’s support for Israel in its war in Gaza.

Trump paused before saying: “They’re not wrong.”

But in the final days of his presidency, Trump downplayed an attack by Iran on U.S. bases in Iraq. Dozens of soldiers suffered traumatic brain injuries as a result.

This post appeared first on The Washington Post

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