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Trump blasts Arkansas GOP governor over veto of transgender bill

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpProject Veritas surveilled government officials to expose anti-Trump sentiments: report Cheney: Fox News has 'a particular obligation' to refute election fraud claims The Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? MORE criticized Arkansas Gov. Asa HutchinsonAsa HutchinsonRepublican governor of Arkansas says 'Trump is dividing our party' Genetic material from 1993 killing revealed years after another man executed for crime, groups say Arkansas governor allows bill targeting critical race theory in state agencies to become law MORE (R) after the governor vetoed a bill that would have blocked health care to transgender youth in the state. 

In doing so, Trump also reiterated his endorsement of his former White House press secretary Sarah HuckabeeSarah SandersAndrew Giuliani planning run for New York governor Trump appears at Sarah Huckabee Sanders campaign event Trump likely to form new super PAC MORE Sanders, now a gubernatorial candidate.

"Asa Hutchinson, the lightweight RINO Governor of Arkansas, just vetoed a Bill that banned the CHEMICAL CASTRATION OF CHILDREN," Trump said in a statement Tuesday, using an acronym for "Republican in name only." “ 'Bye-bye Asa,' that’s the end of him! Fortunately for the Great State of Arkansas, Sarah Huckabee Sanders will do a fantastic job as your next Governor!" 
 
Hutchinson has defended his action on the bill, calling it a measure that went beyond the responsibilities of government.
 
“While in some instances the state must act to protect life, the state should not presume to jump into the middle of every medical, human and ethical issue,” he said Monday. “This would be — and is — a vast government overreach.”
 
Hutchinson, a Republican, is term-limited. He has often positioned himself as a more traditional conservative amid a groundswell of support for populist candidates like Trump within the GOP. 
 
“From what I’ve heard, he just doesn’t view this as a conservative governing policy," one Arkansas political strategist told The Hill this week. "He views it as the government trying to push policies on people’s lives, and it may be a fundamental disagreement between the conservative wing of the party and the more pragmatic wing.”
 
Sanders left her post at the White House in 2019 to return to her home state of Arkansas, at the time only teasing her own run for office.
 
"Thank you President Trump for your endorsement and for always believing in me," Sanders said after Trump endorsed her after she announced her official run in January. "As governor I will defend our freedom and lead with heart."