Trump locks down endorsement from senator with ties to deep-pocketed GOP donors
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the New Hampshire Republican State Committee's Annual Meeting on January 28, 2023 in Salem, New Hampshire. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Donald Trump has secured the endorsement of a senator with deep ties to Republican donors.

Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) announced his support for the former president during an appearance on “Triggered,” a podcast hosted by Donald Trump Jr., The New York Times reports.

Daines chairs the Senate Republicans campaign arm cited the former president’s accomplishments on immigration, among other issues, as the reason behind his decision.

“I’m proud to endorse Donald J. Trump for president of the United States,” Daines said.

The Times’ Jonathan Swan, Shane Goldmacher and Maggie Haberman in the report describe Daines as one of Trump’s “most important Capitol Hill endorsements for a 2024 presidential bid.”

“While top Republicans in the Senate have been lukewarm about the prospects of another election cycle dominated by Mr. Trump, the endorsement gives him a foothold with a key party fund-raiser.”

Daines is among the most recent congressional endorsements Trump has received in recent weeks.

It follows the endorsement of former New York State gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin, a Ron DeSantis ally who had been widely expected to endorse the Florida governor’s potential candidacy.

Trump announced the Zeldin endorsement Monday on his Truth Social website.

“The Endorsement of Lee Zeldin is very important to me,” Trump said.

“He was a great Congressman, and ran an incredible Campaign for Governor of New York. I very much appreciate Lee’s support, and look forward to working with him long into the future. Thank you Lee!”

But according to The Times’ reporting, Daines “has outsize influence” in Republican circles.

“He is in constant contact with the wealthiest donors in Republican politics, who have been reluctant to support Mr. Trump, even as he asserts himself as the clear front-runner less than a year out from the primaries,” The Times reports.

“If Mr. Daines vouches for the former president as he works the donor circuit, it may bolster what has been until now fairly lackluster fund-raising from the Trump campaign.”