Trump praises Jim Jordan at Ohio rally: 'A brave, tough cookie'

Trump praises Jim Jordan at Ohio rally: 'A brave, tough cookie'
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump administration eyes proposal to block jet engine sales to China: report Trump takes track to open Daytona 500 Brazile 'extremely dismayed' by Bloomberg record MORE brought Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanTrump adviser presses House investigators to make Bezos testify Booker, Merkley propose federal facial recognition moratorium Ex-Ohio State wrestler claims Jim Jordan asked him to deny abuse allegations MORE (R-Ohio) on stage at his rally in Ohio on Saturday night, giving the conservative lawmaker a public boost as he runs for Speaker of the House.

“Jim Jordan, how great is he?” Trump said, before bringing the lawmaker on stage.

The crowd chanted “Speaker of the House” as Jordan stood on stage.

Trump's public nod of camaraderie with the conservative Republican, a regular presence on cable television who has criticized special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE's investigation and backed the impeachment of Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinGraham requests interviews with DOJ, FBI officials as part of probe into Russia investigation DOJ won't charge former FBI Deputy Director McCabe Rosenstein says he authorized release of Strzok-Page texts MORE, was also notable given the controversy dogging Jordan surrounding allegations he knew of sexual abuse while serving as a wresting coach at The Ohio State University.

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Jordan has denied that he knew of instances of abuse. Some past wrestlers from the program have backed him, while others say he either knew or had to have known of the allegations.

Once Jordan took the stage, he rattled through a list of Trump’s accomplishments, including deregulations, nominating Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

“What a great defender he’s been, what courage,” Trump said after Jordan left the stage. “He’s a brave, tough cookie along with some of his friends.”

“I didn’t know he was going to be here,” the president continued. “I looked over and said, ‘I don’t want to wrestle him, he’s tough.’ ”

Fox News coverage of the rally also showed Jordan posing for photos with members of the crowd before Trump went on stage. There was a brief "Jordan" chant from the crowd.

Jordan has launched a bid to succeed retiring Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan says Biden likely won't get Democratic nomination Judd Gregg: Honey, I Shrunk The Party The Hill's Morning Report — Dems detail case to remove Trump for abuse of power MORE (R-Wis.). He's seen as a long shot for the post, but has the support from the House Freedom Caucus, which is setting itself up to be a kingmaker in the selection.

Republicans will have to hold on to the House majority this fall, however, to win the Speakership.

The controversy at Ohio State surrounds allegations of sexual abuse by a team doctor. Trump has previously said that he "100 percent" believes Jordan, who has said he did not know of the abuse.

Ohio State has launched an investigation into the sexual abuse allegations, and several lawsuits have been filed against the university. The doctor accused of the abuse, Richard Strauss, died in 2005.