Former national security adviser Robert O’Brien, who served in former President Donald Trump’s administration, on Tuesday officially endorsed Ohio Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance, NBC News reports.
"J.D. is a strong leader who will fight for President Trump's America First foreign policy," O'Brien said in a statement, which was released by the Vance campaign. "He understands that our national security needs to be about American interests, not nation building or being 'woke.' JD will always put America and its people first."
Vance said in a statement responding to the endorsement on Tuesday: "Robert is one of the great champions of President Trump's America First policy agenda, and his endorsement sends a strong signal about who will stand up to our enemies."
Vance, a former Marine turned venture capitalist and memoirist known for "Hillbilly Elegy," is one of five Republicans running for the seat currently held by GOP Sen. Rob Portman. Also running on the Republican side are former head of the Ohio Republican Party Jane Timken, former state Treasurer Josh Mandel, and businessmen Bernie Moreno and Mike Gibbons.
Democrats running for Portman’s seat include Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, and progressive activist Morgan Harper, among others.
NBC notes that Vance, once openly critical of Trump, has more recently presented himself as a populist candidate who said in his campaign announcement last month that "the old way of doing things ain’t working."
In a recent video, Vance criticized Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., over his position on helping Afghan refugees resettle in the U.S. after the Taliban overtook the capital city of Kabul.
"Yes, let's help the Afghans who helped us," Vance said in a video released on Monday, "but let's ensure that we're properly vetting them so that we don't get a bunch of people who believe they should blow themselves up in a mall because somebody looked at their wife the wrong way."
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