Trump tweets support for Luther Strange ahead of Alabama visit

Trump tweets support for Luther Strange ahead of Alabama visit
© Greg Nash

President Trump tweeted his support for Alabama Sen. Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangeCrowley surprise tops huge night for left Races to watch in Tuesday’s primaries Loyalty to Donald Trump is new normal for the Republican Party MORE (R) on Wednesday, just days before he is set to visit the state to stump for Strange in the Republican primary runoff.

"Looking forward to Friday night in the Great State of Alabama," Trump tweeted Wednesday morning. "I am supporting 'Big' Luther Strange because he was so loyal & helpful to me!"

Strange is trailing Roy Moore, the former chief justice of Alabama's Supreme Court, in the race for the GOP nomination to succeed Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRyan: 'The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally' Conservatives moving to impeach Rosenstein soon: report Senators urge DOJ to probe whether Russians posed as Islamic extremist hackers to harass US military families MORE, who gave up his seat to become attorney general.

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In backing Strange, Trump finds himself on the opposite side of former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon and other conservatives who have thrown their weight behind Moore.

Strange is backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Overnight Defense: Washington reeling from Trump, Putin press conference Feehery: The long game MORE (R-Ky.). 

Trump made his formal endorsement in the race earlier in August.

“Senator Luther Strange has done a great job representing the people of the Great State of Alabama. He has my complete and total endorsement!” Trump wrote on Twitter earlier this month.

Bannon is using his powers at Breitbart News to boost Moore. A top Bannon ally told The Hill that the "forgotten man," Trump's signature demographic, supports Moore in Alabama.

"It’s clear Trump is getting bad advice from the Democrats in the West Wing,” Bannon's ally told The Hill.

Strange has held the seat since February, when then-Gov. Robert Bentley (R) appointed him following Sessions's confirmation to the top post in the Justice Department.