Republicans being warned not to fake Trump endorsements: report

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE’s team has been warning Republican candidates running for various offices not to fake endorsements from the former president before he officially announces who he is backing in the race.

Politico reported that Trump and his team are “aggressively” telling candidates up and down the ballot not to falsely illustrate their relationships with Trump in an effort to make it look like they have his support.

A number of Republican candidates vying for 2022 nominations have painted themselves as staunch Trump supporters, showcased photos they’ve taken with Trump and revealed private conversations they’ve had with the former president, according to Politico, in an effort to win the support of Trump loyalists.

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While Trump’s team has for a while pushed back on candidates creating the appearance that they are backed by the former president, advisers told Politico that the problem has gotten worse since he left office.

Trump spokesman Jason Miller confirmed Politico’s report in a statement to The Hill, writing, “Don’t fake the endorsement if you don’t have it!”

Trump’s team stepped in last month after Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, who is mulling a run for governor, said publicly that Trump "asked" him to run.

Miller wrote on Twitter that “President Trump has not made any endorsement or commitments yet in this race.

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In April, Miller posted another disclaimed on Twitter, this time noting that Trump had not made an endorsement in a Texas special congressional election after candidate Dan Rodimer branded himself as “the Trump candidate” in ads and said he was the “only” candidate in the race “that has ever been endorsed by President Trump," according to Politico.

“This is a very strong pro-Trump district and President Trump is the most powerful endorsement in all of politics, but he has not yet weighed in,” Miller wrote on Twitter.

Most recently, Miller took to Twitter last week after a fake statement from Trump circulated saying that the former president was endorsing “MAGA Conservative” Hirsh Singh in New Jersey’s Republican gubernatorial primary against “NEVER TRUMPER” Jack Ciattarelli.

“This posting is FAKE. President Trump has NOT endorsed in the race for Governor in New Jersey,” Miller wrote on Twitter.

Singh denied that he was behind the statement, instead pinning the blame on one of his primary rivals, according to Politico.

The apparent spike in Republican candidates mischaracterizing their relationships with Trump shows the strong influence he still has in GOP politics, despite being out of office for months.