Since leaving the White House in January, former President Donald Trump has repeatedly signaled that he intends to play a major role in the GOP going forward — and now, he’s turning his words into action.
According to Fox News, Trump issued a slew of official endorsements on Friday night to Republican candidates who he feels are strong backers of his “America First” agenda. Chief among those to receive the former president’s blessing was South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R), who is currently running for re-election.
Also receiving a thumbs-up from the former president were Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Arkansas Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin (R), who is running for the attorney general position in his solidly red state.
“Keep South Carolina Great!”
According to Fox, Gov. McMaster — who has been an ally of Trump since the 2016 campaign season — took to Twitter to celebrate the endorsement he received from his friend, the former president.
“President Trump’s leadership has made America stronger and more prosperous. I’ve stood with him from the beginning. I’m honored he stands with me as we ‘Keep South Carolina Great!'” McMaster wrote Saturday.
Included in the governor’s tweet was an image of Trump’s official statement backing McMaster’s re-election bid.
“Henry McMaster has been a great Governor for the wonderful people of South Carolina,” the former president said. “He is Strong on the Military, our Vets, Crime, and the Second Amendment. He has also been a fabulous Chief Executive for his State. Henry has my Complete and Total Endorsement as he runs for re-election!”
President Trump’s leadership has made America stronger and more prosperous. I’ve stood with him from the beginning. I’m honored he stands with me as we “Keep South Carolina Great!” pic.twitter.com/ScxCNuqDxR
— Gov. Henry McMaster (@henrymcmaster) March 6, 2021
A long-lasting friendship
According to Newsmax, the bond between Trump and McMaster dates back to the early days of the 2016 presidential primary season, when then-Lt. Gov. McMaster expressed his support for Trump ahead of the South Carolina primary, which Trump went on to win by a wide margin.
McMaster was one of two speakers at the Republican National Convention later that summer to formally name Trump as the GOP nominee for the White House.
Following Trump’s election in 2016 and his subsequent appointment of then-South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to be his ambassador to the United Nations, the favor was returned; Trump had backed McMaster’s original ascension to the governor’s position and later, his run for a full term in that slot in 2018, reports noted.
In addition to McMaster, Trump has also endorsed the re-election efforts of other South Carolina Republicans, including U.S. Sen. Tim Scott and South Carolina GOP chair Drew McKissick, who is seeking a third term, according to Newsmax.