President Donald Trump has targeted West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat seeking reelection in the fall, as a priority for Republicans to maintain their Senate majority, The Hill reports.
Trump reportedly told GOP senators behind closed doors on Tuesday that he will spend a significant amount of time campaigning against Manchin. The president won West Virginia by 42 points over his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. One unnamed senator said that Trump vowed to make "several" stops in the state over the next few months.
Trump went on to say that the senator only has the appearance of being willing to reach across the aisle or work with the president, saying Manchin "hugs and kisses me and then votes the other way."
The president has repeatedly attacked Manchin in public remarks, telling a crowd at a rally in While Sulphur Springs, West Virginia last month that the senator "voted against everything. He voted against tax cuts."
Manchin told the Hill on Wednesday that “The president is always welcome to my state,” and that they “still talk and everything. This is not personal. I’m the person who keeps him bipartisan and sooner or later they’re going to have to look at that.
He added, "I would say to him, 'Mr. President, an awful lot of West Virginia Democrats voted for you and they continue to support me very vigorously.'"
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