Dem senator deletes tweeted picture of him giving thumbs-up with Trump

Greg Nash
West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin tweeted and then deleted Wednesday a picture of him giving a thumbs-up at the White House with a beaming President Trump.
Manchin’s official Twitter account posted the tweet Wednesday morning, one day after the senator voted against the GOP tax-cut plan. But by the afternoon, the office had deleted that picture and reposted the tweet with a picture of the two men standing alongside each other, instead of one where the two men were giving a thumbs-up sign. 
Manchin’s office did not immediately return a request to explain the decision to swap out the photo. 
Few Democratic senators would be likely to pose for photos with Trump, but Manchin is an exception.
The West Virginia senator is up for reelection next year in a state where Trump is popular, and he has sought to send a signal of independence from his party.
Manchin said he had visited Trump at the White House on Monday, and that the president had given him a tour of the Lincoln Bedroom and Christmas decorations.
“I will continue to work w/ Pres. Trump to find ways we can improve the lives of West Virginians,” he wrote.
{mosads}Trump won West Virginia in the 2016 presidential race by 42 points. Manchin told Politico this week that Trump had repeatedly urged him to switch parties.
Manchin is likely to face either West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey or Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.), the two favorites in the GOP primary. Both are considered strong challengers and would likely be well funded. But polling from September showed Manchin with double-digit leads over both potential rivals. 
He also faces a primary challenge from Paula Jean Swearengin, who is attacking Manchin as too tied to coal. Manchin is expected to win the primary easily. 
No Democrats voted for the GOP tax bill.
Manchin criticized the bill as a “political tool” pushed without bipartisan consensus that hurts seniors and those who obtain health care from the open market. 
He decried the fact that lower tax rates for families are temporary, while the bill’s corporate tax rate is permanent. But he admitted during an interview Wednesday with a local radio station that the bill could have positive effects in his state “initially.” 
Tags Donald Trump Donald Trump Evan Jenkins Joe Manchin Joe Manchin West Virginia West Virginia

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