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Manchin not ruling out endorsing Trump reelection

Manchin not ruling out endorsing Trump reelection
© Greg Nash

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinMcConnell, Schumer fail to cut power-sharing deal amid filibuster snag Josh Hawley has a new publisher — that's good news This week: Tensions running high in Trump's final days MORE (D-W.Va.) is not ruling out endorsing President TrumpDonald TrumpLil Wayne gets 11th hour Trump pardon Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Trump expected to pardon Bannon: reports MORE’s reelection campaign, even after voting to convict him in the Senate’s impeachment trial. 

“I don’t rule anything out. I really don’t rule anything out,” Manchin said in an interview with Politico. “I’m always going to be for what’s best for my country. Everybody can change. Maybe the president will change, you know? Maybe that uniter will come out, versus the divider.” 

Manchin has faced a barrage of criticism from the White House over his vote to convict Trump on two articles of impeachment after earlier speculation the red-state Democrat might go against his party and vote for acquittal.

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“They are really mad at Senator Joe Munchkin in West Virginia. He couldn’t understand the Transcripts,” Trump tweeted Sunday. 

Manchin has bucked party lines in some high-profile votes, including to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughHarris to resign from Senate seat on Monday Why we need Section 230 more than ever 'Almost Heaven, West Virginia' — Joe Manchin and a 50-50 Senate MORE, in moves that have won him some plaudits from conservative circles. However, Trump still made unseating him a top priority in Manchin’s 2018 midterm campaign. 

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Manchin narrowly won reelection that year by about 3 points, earning just under 50 percent of the vote.

“It’s not different when he wanted to have lunch the week after I was elected. And he said: ‘I knew we couldn’t beat you.’ And I said: ‘It wasn’t for lack of trying.’ Boom, it’s over, let it go. I did. I’m asking him to do the same thing I did,” Manchin told Politico. “He tried to remove me.”

Manchin’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment seeking further guidance on the possibility of an endorsement for Trump.

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate presses Biden's pick for secretary of State on Iran, China, Russia and Yemen GOP senator questions constitutionality of an impeachment trial after Trump leaves office Graham pushes Schumer for vote to dismiss impeachment article MORE (R-S.C.) told Politico he has urged Trump to not completely shut off Manchin, noting the West Virginia Democrat is still a possible vote of support for some aspects of the White House’s agenda.   

Trump “doesn’t believe it today. But there will come a time when we need Joe tomorrow,” Graham said. “We still have a lot to do here. Prescription drugs and a lot of things are gonna be right on the cusp of 60 votes.”