Dec 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump endorses primary challenge against Senate GOP whip John Thune

Photo of John Thune looking off into the distance
Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Cal/POOLl via Getty

President Trump backed a 2022 challenge to Senate whip John Thune (R-S.D.) on Tuesday, tweeting that his political career will be "over" and calling Thune a "RINO" — Republican in name only.

Why it matters: As the end of his term nears, the president has turned on virtually everyone around him. Tuesday’s tweet reflects his last bid for power as he attempts to cling to his presidency.

Driving the news: Trump claimed Senate Republicans would be "down 8 seats" without his support in the last election. Singling out Thune, whom he nicknamed "Mitch's boy," Trump said "South Dakota doesn’t like weakness.”

  • Trump’s comments come one day after Thune told Bloomberg that the president’s efforts to overturn election results were "going down like a shot dog."
  • Thune and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have both urged Republicans not to object to certifying President-elect Joe Biden's win in the Jan. 6 joint session.

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