CNN reported that Donald Trump was “infuriated” at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other members of his political team, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner, for convincing him to back losing Senate candidate Luther Strange in Alabama’s runoff election Tuesday. He unleashed a “barrage of angry venting” aboard Air Force One after watching Fox News call the special election for ultra-conservative gun rights advocate Roy Moore over Strange.
Multiple sources told CNN that Trump went to bed Tuesday night “embarrassed and pissed” because McConnell had convinced him to publically support Strange instead of Moore.
Moore, a former judge, won the special election with 54.9 percent of the vote. Moore was endorsed by former Trump advisor Steve Bannon, and his campaign got heavy support from Bannon’s Breitbart website and other conservative outlets. Although Trump didn’t send out any angry Tweets about Bannon, CNN reported he was privately fuming and felt “outdone” by his former aide.
According to Politico, Trump was already showing second thoughts about his support for Strange the day before the election. On Monday, the president told a group of conservative activists visiting the White House that he thought Strange would lose. In meetings with political consultants Monday and Tuesday, Trump complained about Bannon’s “aggressive support” for Moore and Strange’s “low energy” and lack of charisma.
Trump seemed embarrassed by a series of tweets he sent out in support of Strange before the election, deleting a flurry of tweets before eventually congratulating Moore on his victory.
Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner was one of the aides behind Trump’s support for Strange, according to Politico. Kushner and McConnell reportedly told Trump that Strange was the best choice despite a controversial history.
Losing candidate Strange was the government prosecutor investigating scandal-ridden former Alabama Governor Robert Bentley on charges of corruption before Bentley appointed him to temporarily fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Senate seat in February. Alabama.com has covered extensive controversies related to Bentley, who resigned in April after state lawmakers voted to impeach him for campaign finance violations.
Trump “didn’t know the state of play in the race” as of last week, an advisor told Politico. “He wasn’t given good advice.”
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]