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Trump endorses Gaetz in reelection bid

Trump endorses Gaetz in reelection bid
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpStephen Miller: Trump to further crackdown on illegal immigration if he wins US records 97,000 new COVID-19 cases, shattering daily record Biden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll MORE on Friday endorsed a top ally in the House, GOP Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzHouse Judiciary Republicans mockingly tweet 'Happy Birthday' to Hillary Clinton after Barrett confirmation Congressional antitrust report rips tech firms for stifling competition Loeffler tweets edited video showing Trump taking down coronavirus in wrestling match MORE (Fla.), a boost for the Florida Republican ahead of his August primary.

Trump called Gaetz "one of the finest and most talented people in Congress " and thanked him for working "tirelessly on helping to get our Massive Tax Cuts [passed]" in a tweet sent just after 2 a.m.

Trump is currently in the U.K. for a visit following the NATO summit in Brussels.

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"Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida is one of the finest and most talented people in Congress. Strong on Crime, the Border, Illegal Immigration, the 2nd Amendment, our great Military & Vets, Matt worked tirelessly on helping to get our Massive Tax Cuts. He has my Full Endorsement!" Trump wrote.

"Thank you, Mr. President," Gaetz responded.

Gaetz faces an Aug. 28 primary election with two GOP challengers, John Mills and Marine Corps. veteran Cris Dosev.

Gaetz has been one of Trump's most vocal supporters in Congress, frequently appearing on cable news to defend the president from what he calls "deep state" actors working to oppose the president.

Trump's endorsement comes on the heels of his surprise endorsement of Katie Arrington, the South Carolina state representative who last month defeated GOP Rep. Mark SanfordMark SanfordOn The Money: Business world braces for blue sweep | Federal Reserve chief to outline plans for inflation, economy | Meadows 'not optimistic' about stalemate on coronavirus deal Trump critic Sanford forms anti-debt advocacy group Republicans officially renominate Trump for president MORE (S.C.). The move angered some House conservatives, especially after Trump attacked Sanford personally over public reports of his affair.

Sanford, who unlike Gaetz has often been critical of Trump, later said he lost because he wasn’t “Trump enough.”  

"People are running for cover because they don't want to be on the losing side of a presidential tweet," he told NBC’s "Meet the Press". “The idea that you can't speak out and say, ‘I disagree with you here, but I agree with you on 90 percent of the stuff’ ... is, again, a twilight world that I've never seen."

Gaetz resides in a safely Republican district and defeated his previous Democratic challenger in 2016 by almost 40 points.