Weeks after being ousted from the White House, former chief strategist Stephen Bannon is backing a different candidate than President Donald Trump in Alabama’s contested primary election.
Trump endorsed the incumbent, Sen. Luther Strange in an early August tweet, saying Strange has done ‘a great job representing the people of the Great State of Alabama. He has my complete and total endorsement!’
Bannon has since left the White House. Though he has expressed a determination to continue to fight battles on behalf of nationalists during his return to Breitbart News, Bannon has not expressed any desire to go after Trump.
Bannon is, however, backing a different candidate in Alabama, controversial former state chief justice Roy Moore, who has received national coverage over the years for his crusade to display the Ten Commandments.
Former chief White House strategist is backing Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate primary runoff
Bannon made his support for Moore known at a meeting of the Conservative Action Project, Politico reported, though not as a way to break with Trump.
Instead, it was a way to counter Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who in Bannon’s eyes is the leading force of the GOP establishment he battled when he was in the White House.
The meeting of the influential conservatives took place at the offices of the Family Research Council, and included former Attorney General Ed Meese, former American Spectator publisher Alfred Regnery, and former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, according to the report.
Despite his formal endorsement on Twitter, it is not yet clear how much effort Trump is planning to put into backing Strange.
The announcement coincided with a Trump-McConnell feud that broke out into the open.
President Donald Trump endorsed Sen. Luther Strange in the primary
Bannon is backing former chief justice of the state supreme court Roy Moore
STRANGE DAYS INDEED: Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., talks with a reporter on the East Front of the Capitol on August 2, 2017. He has the backing of President Trump, but it is unclear how much the president will put into the effort
Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., left, and Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., arrive for a meeting of Senate Republicans after a vote in the Capitol on Thursday, July 20, 2017
McConnell affiliate groups have been Strange’s top financial backers.
Trump cut a robocall for Strange during the first round of voting, saying: ‘He’s helping me in the Senate. He’s going to get the tax cuts for us. He’s doing a lot of things for the people of Alabama and for the people of the United States.’
Strange was appointed to fill the seat vacated by Jeff Sessions when he became attorney general.
The Alabama Senate race has coincided with a feud between President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky.
The Washington Post reported last week that Trump was considering becoming ‘less engaged’ in the race.
It is unclear if Trump will travel to Alabama before the Sept. 26 GOP runoff vote.
Moore has campaigned against ‘the swamp’ and has gone after McConnell in an online fundraising appeal.
Bannon issued a warning to go after McConnell in an exit interview with the Economist immediately after he was out at the White House.
‘Mitch McConnell, I’m going to light him up,’ Bannon warned.