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South Carolina fallout: McConnell deputy endorses Trump, Koch-backed group pulls money for Haley

AFP Action pulled its funding from Haley after she lost her home state to Trump by more than 20 points.

Published: February 25, 2024 9:45pm

Donald Trump’s convincing win in South Carolina reverberated Sunday across the political spectrum as Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell‘s top deputy endorsed the former president while a prominent Koch-backed group dropped its funding for Nikki Haley.

Senate Minority Whip John Thune, the chamber’s No. 2 Republican, announced his endorsement if Trump in a statement to Fox News.

”The primary results in South Carolina make clear that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee for president in this year’s pivotal presidential election,” Thune said. “The choice before the American people is crystal clear: It’s Donald Trump or Joe Biden.”

Trump reposted the endorsement on his Truth Social platform shortly after it was made.

The 45th president also trumpeted word that Americans for Prosperity Action, a free-markets group backed by the Charles and David Koch family, had pulled its funding from Haley after she lost her home state to Trump by more than 20 points.

“AMERICAN’S FOR NO PROSPERITY JUST ANNOUNCED THAT THEY ARE NO LONGER SUPPORTING NIKKI “BRAINDEAD” (BIRDBRAIN?) HALEY,” Trump wrote. “CHARLES KOCH AND HIS GROUP GOT PLAYED FOR SUCKERS RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING!”

In an email first obtained by Politico,  AFP Action’s Emily Seidel explained to staff why it was ending financial support for Haley. The group did not believe that "any outside group can make a material difference to widen her path to victory,” Seidel wrote.

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