Trump praises Arizona governor's pick of Jon Kyl to succeed McCain

Trump praises Arizona governor's pick of Jon Kyl to succeed McCain
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate MORE on Tuesday praised Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey's selection of fellow Republican and former Sen. Jon Kyl to succeed Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump hits McCain on ObamaCare vote GOP, White House start playing midterm blame game Arizona race becomes Senate GOP’s ‘firewall’ MORE (R-Ariz.) in the Senate, saying Kyl will be "an extraordinary Senator."

"Jon Kyl will be an extraordinary Senator representing an extraordinary state, Arizona," Trump tweeted. "I look forward to working with him!"

Kyl, who previously served in the Senate for 18 years before leaving in 2013, was tapped by Ducey earlier Tuesday to fill the vacant Arizona Senate seat ahead of 2020, when a special election will be held for a permanent successor to McCain.

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The former senator-turned GOP lobbyist said during a press conference with Ducey in Phoenix that he will serve in the Senate at least until the end of the current Congress in January.

Kyl has not committed to serving in 2019 and 2020, and he told reporters on Tuesday that he is not interested in running for the seat in 2020.

“I’m willing to serve certainly through the end of this session at least to make sure that the business that is currently ongoing is taken care of,” Kyl said. “But I don’t want to make a commitment beyond that.”

Kyl, 76, served alongside McCain in the Senate for nearly two decades and rose to the No. 2 position of Senate Republican whip. Kyl has most recently been acting as Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s "sherpa" on Capitol Hill, helping guide him through the nomination process.

Trump long had a fraught relationship with McCain, who died late last month after a more than yearlong battle with brain cancer. The president was not invited to the GOP senator's funeral over the weekend, though his daughter Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpHard choices in training Americans for AI workplace of future Ex-Trump, progressive strategists battle over charges of anti-Semitism surrounding Eric Trump Ethics watchdog requests probe into Trump officials traveling to campaign events MORE and son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerMueller investigating Russian payments made by Trump Tower meeting organizers: report The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil Manafort’s plea deal — the clear winners and losers MORE attended, among other administration officials.