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Trump endorses blue state Republican Senate candidate who does not support the former president

by John Jefferson
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EXCLUSIVE: Former Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, a vocal Republican critic of Donald Trump who’s aiming to flip a Democrat-held Senate seat in his blue state, apparently has the support of the former president.

“I’d like to see him win. I think he has a good chance to win. I would like to see him win. And we’ve got to take the majority,” Trump said Thursday in an exclusive interview with Fox News as he pointed to the Maryland Senate race. It’s one of a handful that may determine if the GOP wins back the Senate chamber.

Hogan, a popular former two-term governor, is running against Democrat Angela Alsobrooks, the executive of Prince George’s County, Maryland, in the race to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin.

TRUMP MEETS FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER WITH THIS REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR

The former Maryland governor, who has said he won’t vote for Trump in November’s presidential election, stood out from most other Republicans for publicly calling for the guilty verdicts late last month in the former president’s criminal trial to be respected.

Before Trump was convicted on 34 felony counts in the first trial of a former or current president in the nation’s history, Hogan took to social media to say, “Regardless of the result, I urge all Americans to respect the verdict and the legal process. At this dangerously divided moment in our history, all leaders — regardless of party — must not pour fuel on the fire with more toxic partisanship.

TRUMP’S GRIP ON GOP REMAINS FIRM AS HIS ENDORSED CANDIDATES SWEEP PRIMARIES

“We must reaffirm what has made this nation great: the rule of law.”

Minutes later, Trump campaign senior adviser Chris LaCivita, a veteran Republican consultant, responded to Hogan’s social media post, writing, “You just ended your campaign.”

On Thursday, as Trump was leaving Capitol Hill after meetings with congressional Republicans, he was asked by Fox News if he would support Hogan.

“We have to straighten out our country. So, I’d like to see him when he’s somebody that can win. I would. I know other people made some strong statements, but I can just say from my standpoint, I’m about the party and I’m about the country. And I would like to see him win,” the former president said.

Trump says he hopes anti-Trump Republican Larry Hogan wins the Maryland Senate race

Asked if he is endorsing Hogan, Trump responded that “nobody’s asked me that. But, essentially, I would be endorsing. Yeah.”

Hogan campaign senior adviser Mike Ricci, asked for a response to the former president’s comments, told Fox News that “Gov. Hogan has been clear he is not supporting Donald Trump just as he didn’t in 2016 and 2020.”

Fox News’ James Levinson contributed to this report 

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

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