After big Nevada win, Trump gets first lawmaker endorsements
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GOP presidential candidate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump admin to announce coronavirus vaccine will be covered under Medicare, Medicaid: report Election officials say they're getting suspicious emails that may be part of malicious attack on voting: report McConnell tees up Trump judicial pick following Supreme Court vote MORE has secured his first two endorsements from members of Congress following his big win Tuesday in Nevada's caucuses.

Reps. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) and Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) on Wednesday both endorsed Trump, who looks increasingly likely to become the party's nominee.

The outspoken businessman has struggled to win support from officeholders, who have been reluctant to embrace the man who has shaken up the GOP presidential race like no one before him. 

Not a single member of Congress had endorsed Trump before his win in Nevada, though this week has seen a flurry of endorsements for Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus Bipartisan group of senators call on Trump to sanction Russia over Navalny poisoning Trump's new interest in water resources — why now? MORE, who has yet to beat Trump in any contest. 

Collins complimented Trump's policies on national security and trade.


“Donald Trump has clearly demonstrated that he has both the guts and the fortitude to return our nation’s jobs stolen by China, take on our enemies like ISIS, Iran, North Korea and Russia, and, most importantly, reestablish the opportunity for our children and grandchildren to attain the American Dream,” Collins said in a statement first reported by the The Buffalo News.

“That’s why I am proud to endorse him as the next president of the United States."

Hunter praised Trump's position on the U.S.-Mexico border in offering his endorsement and signaled support for Trump's style of politics. 

“We don’t need a policy wonk as president,” Hunter told Politico. “We need a leader as president. I’m in, and I’ve been in.” 

“I don’t think Trump wants my endorsement,” Hunter added, noting he has not spoken with the candidate. “And that’s one reason why I like him.”

Many Republicans, however, have criticized Trump's call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States and support for a wall at the southern U.S. border, which he says Mexico's government would pay for.

Many in the GOP have also expressed worry that the real estate tycoon could be unelectable in a general election and have pined for a candidate such as Rubio or former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who dropped out of the race on Saturday, to defeat him.

Trump has won three of the four GOP contests so far, and he is leading in many of the 12 states that will hold contests on March 1, known as Super Tuesday.

Hunter predicted more of his colleagues are likely to come around to Trump.

“I’ve liked Trump since the beginning,” Hunter said. “I think you may have some more Trump supporters in Congress. They just have to come out of the closest, so to speak.”

Collins also argued that Trump’s extensive business background makes him the most qualified contender for the Oval Office.

“If we want to get our nation’s economy growing again and deal with the daunting financial fiscal issues threatening America’s future, it’s time to say 'no' to professional politicians and 'yes' to someone who has created jobs and grown a business,” he said.

Collins previously supported Bush for president.

—Updated at 11:53 a.m.