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Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump on Thursday endorsed Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson (R) for 2022 reelection — despite the fact that Johnson has not publicly announced he will actually launch a bid.

Between the lines: Johnson made a vow when first elected to the Senate that he would only serve two terms. His second term will end in 2022. But the senator in recent months hasn't completely sworn off the idea of another term.

  • Johnson in March said leaving office after his second term is "probably [his] preference now," but a recent slew of GOP 2022 retirement announcements could change that plan.
  • Republican senators who've announced their retirements include Roy Blunt (Mo.), Richard Shelby (Ala.), Rob Portman (Ohio), Richard Burr (N.C.) and Pat Toomey (Pa.).

Between the lines: Democrats are chomping at the bit to face Johnson in 2022, Politico notes. The senator has been plagued by controversial comments surrounding the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, which some Democratic organizers think could hurt him with Wisconsin swing voters.

What he's saying: Trump wrote in a statement, "Even though he has not yet announced he is running, and I certainly hope he does, I am giving my Complete and Total Endorsement to Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin ... He has no idea how popular he is. Run, Ron, Run!"

Go deeper

Trump endorses ally Mo Brooks in Alabama U.S. Senate race

Combination images of Rep. Mo Brooks and former President Trump. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images/Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former President Trump on Wednesday endorsed Rep. Mo Brooks' campaign for U.S. Senate in Alabama, saying in a statement that "few Republicans have as much COURAGE and FIGHT" as the congressman.

Why it matters: Both Brooks and rival candidate Lynda Blanchard, a businesswoman and Trump's former ambassador to Slovenia, had pushed hard to win the endorsement of Trump, who won 60% of the vote in Alabama in the 2020 presidential election.

Updated 4 mins ago - World

Reports: Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" and were due to travel to another destination when the gang struck in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.

Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews during a news conference in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Melbourne's stay-at-home orders will end five days earlier than planned, officials in Australia's second-biggest city announced Sunday.

Why it matters: The capital of the state of Victoria has had six lockdowns totaling 262 days since March last year. That means Melbourne's spent longer under lockdowns than "any other city in the world" during the pandemic, Reuters notes.

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