GOP Senate candidate truncates Trump tweet in campaign mailer

GOP Senate candidate truncates Trump tweet in campaign mailer

An Arizona GOP Senate candidate's campaign is defending doctoring a tweet from President Trump for a recent campaign mailer.

Kelli Ward's campaign reportedly sent out an edited version of a 2017 tweet from Trump which originally read, "Great to see that Dr. Kelli Ward is running against Flake Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFlake urges Republicans to condemn 'vile and offensive' Trump tweets Flake responds to Trump, Jimmy Carter barbs: 'We need to stop trying to disqualify each other' Jeff Flake responds to Trump's 'greener pastures' dig on former GOP lawmakers MORE, who is WEAK on borders, crime and a non-factor in Senate. He's toxic!"

Ward in the campaign mailer deleted the mention of Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), according to The Arizona Republic.

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The Arizona Republic reported that the use of the tweet on Ward's mailer may appear to be an endorsement even though Trump has not weighed in on the Arizona GOP Senate primary, which happens later this month.

Ward's campaign defended their use of the truncated tweet.

"The message of the tweet remains the same: President TrumpDonald John TrumpCould Donald Trump and Boris Johnson be this generation's Reagan-Thatcher? Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump How China's currency manipulation cheats America on trade MORE is happy to see Dr. Kelli Ward running against candidates who are weak on illegal immigration, for open borders, and have a history of criticizing his personal decisions and public decisions before and after he was elected," Ward campaign spokesman Zachery Henry told the Arizona Republic.

Ward, who has positioned herself as a loyal Trump supporter, is facing off against GOP establishment-backed Rep. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyTrump angry more Republicans haven't defended his tweets: report Republicans scramble to contain Trump fallout On The Money: Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency | Tech giants on defensive at antitrust hearing | Democrats ask Labor Department to investigate Amazon warehouses MORE and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whom Trump pardoned in August 2017

Arpaio told the Republic that Ward's use of the tweet was not "fair." McSally's campaign declined to comment.

Ward in the mailer also featured a December 2017 photo of herself and Trump at the president's Florida Mar-a-Lago resort. A White House official told the Republic that Trump asked Ward not to share the photo at the time.