Trump says he'd like to see Chris Sununu challenge Hassan

Trump says he'd like to see Chris Sununu challenge Hassan
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Former President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right MORE is encouraging New Hampshire Gov. Chris SununuChris SununuHassan launches first ad of reelection bid focusing on veterans' issues White House welcomes fight with GOP governors over vaccine mandates Scott Brown's wife files to run for Congress MORE (R) to jump into his state’s 2022 Senate race. 

In an interview with conservative radio host Howie Carr, Trump said that he wants to see Sununu challenge Sen. Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanHassan launches first ad of reelection bid focusing on veterans' issues Scott Brown's wife files to run for Congress Conservation group says it will only endorse Democrats who support .5T spending plan MORE (D-N.H.), who’s up for reelection next year.

“I’d like to see him run,” Trump said, adding that Sununu “probably would poll the highest.”

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The former president also repeated baseless claims that the 2020 election had been marred by voter fraud and “corruption,” alleging that he actually won the state despite President BidenJoe BidenOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Democrats hope Biden can flip Manchin and Sinema On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Democrats advance tax plan through hurdles MORE’s 7-point victory there.

With Republicans only one seat away from recapturing their Senate majority, the GOP is eager to recruit Sununu into the race in New Hampshire, believing that his reputation as a popular governor can help the party flip a closely watched seat next year.

Both Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCEOs urge Congress to raise debt limit or risk 'avoidable crisis' Capito grills EPA nominee on '#ResistCapitalism' tweet Hassan launches first ad of reelection bid focusing on veterans' issues MORE (R-Ky.) and Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), have been open about trying to lure Sununu into the race, though the governor has so far refrained from making a decision.

On Tuesday, his office issued a statement rejecting Trump’s claims about the 2020 presidential election without addressing the president’s remarks about the 2022 Senate race. 

“The former President has been misinformed. The state did a hand recount for every precinct where there was a request and every result across the state was verified,” Sununu’s office said in a statement, according to WMUR-TV in Manchester, N.H. 

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“There has been absolutely no evidence of fraud or corruption in our elections – which is proof New Hampshire’s system remains the gold standard for election integrity,” it added. 

Still, Democrats are eager to tie Sununu to Trump, casting the former president’s comments about a potential Senate bid by the New Hampshire governor as an endorsement. 

“Chris Sununu should be embarrassed to receive such a toxic endorsement from Donald Trump,” Ray Buckley, the chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party said in a statement. “While backing Sununu’s potential Senate candidacy, Trump profoundly insulted the integrity of our elections and our state’s proud tradition of democracy.”