Bannon breaks with Trump, backs Moore in Alabama Senate race: report

Bannon breaks with Trump, backs Moore in Alabama Senate race: report
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Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon is reportedly throwing his support behind former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore in the GOP primary runoff next month for Alabama's special Senate election, breaking with President Trump's preferred candidate.

According to Politico, Bannon announced his backing of Moore during a meeting with the Conservative Action Project and presented the support as a specific rebuke of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellJon Stewart rips into McConnell for saying he's 'bent out of shape' over 9/11 victim fund Jon Stewart rips into McConnell for saying he's 'bent out of shape' over 9/11 victim fund Tensions with Iran reach new stage over uranium threat MORE (R-Ky.) rather than Trump. Both McConnell and Trump have endorsed Sen. Luther Strange to win a full term to the Alabama seat vacated when Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSarah Sanders to leave White House Sarah Sanders to leave White House Barr compares his return to DOJ to D-Day invasion MORE was confirmed as attorney general.

Bannon described the upcoming election as a contest between the establishment and populist wings of the Republican Party, Politico said. 

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Trump had endorsed Strange before the initial Republican primary earlier this month, including recording a robocall in support. 

McConnell and his allies, including the National Republican Senatorial Committee, have thrown their support behind Strange, a move that had angered the other candidates and helped fuel critiques that he represents Washington insiders.

Moore came away with just under 39 percent of the vote in the Aug. 15 primary, while Strange had 32.8 percent.

Moore leads in recent polling and earlier this month secured the endorsement of former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, who said Moore "has what it takes to stand up to the out-of-touch political establishment." 

Trump is reportedly cooling to Strange despite his endorsement. The Washington Post reported on Friday that the president is weighing backing away from the primary amid his ongoing public disputes with McConnell, who angered Trump with his failure to get ObamaCare repeal legislation through the Senate.