Sen. Joni Ernst becomes final member of Senate GOP leadership to endorse Trump

Sen. Joni Ernst becomes final member of Senate GOP leadership to endorse Trump

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, endorsed former President Donald Trump to be the Republican presidential nominee on Wednesday, becoming the final member of the Senate GOP leadership conference to do so. 

‘We must beat Joe Biden and get this country back on track,’ Ernst wrote on X, formerly Twitter, on Wednesday. ‘Donald Trump has my support.’

Ernst’s endorsement comes a day after Trump swept nearly 1,000 Super Tuesday delegations, inching closer to securing his spot as the GOP presidential front runner in November. Trump’s only primary opponent, Nikki Haley, suspended her presidential campaign on Wednesday morning.

Last month, Ernst criticized Trump’s use of the word ‘hostages’ to describe his supporters who were arrested for their involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riots on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press.’

Host Kristen Welker asked Ernst if she was bothered by Trump’s description of the Jan. 6 prisoners.

‘It does in this context because we do have American hostages that are being held against their will all around the globe, and especially if you look at the innocents that were attacked and kidnapped on Oct. 7,’ Ernst responded. ‘We are approaching nearly 100 days. These are people that have been taken. They’re held in tunnels with terrorists, they are being tortured, they have been raped, they have been denied medication. So, equating the two, there is no comparison.’

Ernst later said in the interview she would not be opposed to pardoning those who were involved on Jan. 6 and that it would be at the president’s discretion. 

Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who has refused to comment over the last few months on whether he would endorse the former president, also endorsed Trump on Wednesday. 

‘It is abundantly clear that former President Trump has earned the requisite support of Republican voters to be our nominee for President of the United States. It should come as no surprise that as nominee, he will have my support,’ McConnell said in a statement. 

He continued: ‘During his Presidency, we worked together to accomplish great things for the American people including tax reform that supercharged our economy and a generational change of our federal judiciary, most importantly, the Supreme Court.’

More GOP lawmakers in both chambers are rallying behind former President Donald Trump. Over 100 House Republicans and over two dozen Senate Republicans have endorsed the former president. 

Fox News’ Lawrence Richard contributed to this report. 

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