A week ago, President Donald Trump appeared to make a tacit endorsement in Arizona’s upcoming Senate race when he tweeted his excitement to see former state Sen. Kelli Ward mount a challenge against sitting Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ).
A pro-Trump super PAC quickly followed his lead by putting $20,000 behind Ward’s challenge soon thereafter.
But by Tuesday night, when the president traveled to Phoenix for a campaign rally, he was already signaling second thoughts over being too closely tied to Ward’s campaign.
The president huddled with Arizona Treasurer Jeff DeWit, former state GOP Chairman Robert Graham, and Rep. Trent Franks before the rally took place. Part of the conversation was geared toward feeling out whether Graham or DeWit, both early supporters of Trump during his campaign, would mount a challenge in the Republican Senate primary. Ward, notably, was not granted an audience with the president nor was she made a VIP at the event even as DeWit emceed the night’s proceedings. And now, Graham is insisting that the president’s keeping his options open.
“There was no inclination that he was leaning towards Dr. Ward in any stretch of the imagination,” Graham told The Daily Beast in a phone interview. He said he and DeWit “talk a lot with people in the White House and the Trump campaign” and that they’re “leaning on Jeff and I to make a decision.”
DeWit’s office told The Daily Beast that he was not commenting on the race at this time.
The indecision from Trump over how to best approach the suddenly contentious GOP primary in Arizona is a reflection of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants style he’s…
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