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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 TrumpThe Guardian slams Trump over comments about assault on reporter Five takeaways from the first North Dakota Senate debate Watchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US MORE on Tuesday praised Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey's selection of fellow Republican and former Sen. Jon Kyl to succeed Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMcConnell: GOP could try to repeal ObamaCare again after midterms Comey donates maximum amount to Democratic challenger in Virginia House race Live coverage: McSally clashes with Sinema in Arizona Senate debate 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 TrumpThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump sends Pompeo to meet Saudi king | How Trump could work with a Dem House | Trump heads to Florida to view hurricane damage Watchdog files Hatch Act complaint against Sanders for picture with Kanye in MAGA hat The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Citi — Latest on Hurricane Michael | Trump, Kanye West to have lunch at White House | GOP divided over potential 2020 high court vacancy MORE and son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerThe Memo: Saudi storm darkens for Trump Saudi Arabia mulls blaming top intel officer over Khashoggi disappearance: report Mnuchin pulls out of Saudi conference MORE attended, among other administration officials.