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Trump endorses Rand Paul for reelection

Former President Trump on Thursday endorsed Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) for reelection, lending his support to a key ally of his past administration.

"Rand Paul has done a fantastic job for our Country, and for the incredible people of Kentucky. He fights against the Swamp in Washington, the Radical Left Liberals, and especially the destructive RINOS, of which there are far too many, in Congress," Trump said in a statement, using an acronym that refers to "Republicans In Name Only."

"Rand will continue to stand up for our great AMERICA FIRST policies because he believes in stopping wasteful spending, defending our Second Amendment rights, and taking care of our Military and our Vets," Trump continued. "I am proud to be working with Rand in our battle to Make America Great Again. He has my Complete and Total Endorsement for another term in the U.S. Senate." 

Paul first won his Kentucky Senate seat in 2010 and has already said he plans on running for a third term next year.

Paul has established a reputation as a staunch conservative who is willing to buck his own party, particularly when it comes to military spending and interventions. 

He and Trump famously clashed when they both ran for president in 2016, with Trump then mocking Paul's appearance. However, the Kentucky Republican ultimately morphed into one of the Trump administration's most vociferous defenders in the Senate.

Paul has most recently drawn headlines for leaning into culture war issues, clashing with Anthony Fauci over face coverings and urging Republicans to boycott Major League Baseball after it withdrew its All-Star Game from Atlanta in protest of Georgia's new voting restrictions.

The Kentucky Senate race is not anticipated to be particularly competitive next year. Paul won reelection in 2016 by nearly 15 points. 

Trump's endorsement of Paul was his second of the day after he also urged Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) to run for reelection.

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