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Trump admits Conor Lamb ran a ‘smart campaign’ in Pennsylvania

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Pennsylvania congressman-elect Conor Lamb. Image via screengrab.

During a fundraiser for another congressional candidate, President Donald Trump gave tacit praise to Pennsylvania Democrat Conor Lamb for his big win in a special election Tuesday night.

The Atlantic reported Wednesday night that Trump told donors at the fundraiser for Josh Hawley, a Missouri Senate candidate, that Lamb ran “a pretty smart race, actually.” It’s the first known time since Trump-backed candidate Rick Saccone lost to the Democrat that the president has spoken publicly about the race.

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“The young man last night that ran, he said, ‘Oh, I’m like Trump. Second Amendment, everything. I love the tax cuts, everything.’ He ran on that basis,” Trump said of Lamb in audio obtained by the Atlantic. “He ran on a campaign that said very nice things about me. I said, ‘Is he a Republican? He sounds like a Republican to me.”

“I guess when you’re running in a certain area,” Trump said of the blue-collar constituency in Western Pennsylvania’s Rust Belt, “that’s probably a good tactic.”

Trump, the report continued, was “unusually silent” about his candidate losing. His tight-lipped stance marks a departure from previous comments he made about the candidates he backed losing, from his assertion that Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie “did not embrace me or what I stand for” to his claim that he knew Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore would lose.

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