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Alabama senator touts Trump primary endorsement in new ads

Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) released two ads on Thursday touting President TrumpDonald John TrumpTillerson: Russia already looking to interfere in 2018 midterms Dems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Speier on Trump's desire for military parade: 'We have a Napoleon in the making' MORE’s recent endorsement of him ahead of next week’s contentious Alabama special election Republican primary.

The ads highlight Trump’s support, and a radio ad hits primary rival Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksGOP leaders pitch children's health funding in plan to avert shutdown Kermit the Frog, Ellen Degeneres among write-ins in Alabama special election Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks reveals he has prostate cancer MORE (R-Ala.) for criticizing Trump during the 2016 presidential election

“Listen to Mo Brooks the other day bragging about attacking President Trump,” the radio ad says, featuring a soundbite of Brooks.

“Brooks keeps attacking our president,” the ad continues.

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Trump announced his support for Strange in a tweet Tuesday night, delivering a major boost to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDems confront Kelly after he calls some immigrants 'lazy' McConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration Overnight Defense: Latest on spending fight - House passes stopgap with defense money while Senate nears two-year budget deal | Pentagon planning military parade for Trump | Afghan war will cost B in 2018 MORE (R-Ky.) and his allies, who are rallying behind Strange in the primary.

“I am so deeply honored and humbled to receive the endorsement and support of our President, Donald Trump. It is an honor to work beside him to deliver upon his promise to Make America Great Again,” Strange said in a statement.

“While others, including those in our party, attack President Trump, I will continue to fight alongside him to ensure our courts have conservative judges, we repeal Obamacare, offer tax relief to hard working Americans, lift this heavy burden of government regulations, rebuild our military and build that wall on our southern border.”

Brooks made many sharply critical comments about Trump during the 2016 election. The Alabama congressman at one point said he could not trust a “serial adulterer” like Trump.

Those attacks have come hurt Brooks as he pursues the Senate seat.

“Others attack our president. I’m fighting with him to drain the swamp and repeal ObamaCare,” Strange says in the television ad released Thursday. 

The new ads from Strange’s campaign come after the Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), the super PAC tied to GOP leadership, touted Trump’s endorsement on Wednesday in a digital ad push.

But Trump has also sparred with McConnell in recent days, criticizing him on Twitter for not repealing ObamaCare.

Brooks seized on that Wednesday, asking the president to reconsider his endorsement of Strange.

“McConnell & Strange don't support your agenda. I do. Reconsider endorsement @realDonaldTrump#DitchMitch,” Brooks wrote on Twitter. 

The support for Strange from McConnell allies, including the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), has angered Brooks and other candidates in the race.

Strange was appointed to fill the Senate seat by former Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) following the confirmation of Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsDems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Grassley to Sessions: Policy for employees does not comply with the law New immigration policy leaves asylum seekers in the lurch MORE.

Polls show that former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore leads the pack, with Strange holding a slight edge over Brooks for second place.

The special election primary will take place on Aug. 15. There will be a runoff election in September with the top two contenders if no candidate wins a majority. The general election will be held in December.