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At Alabama Rally, Trump Toggles Between Republican Loyalists



President Trump welcomed Senator Luther Strange of Alabama to a rally on Friday in Huntsville. In his remarks, the president painted Mr. Strange as loyal to the White House’s agenda. Tom Brenner/The New York Times


HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — President Trump on Friday implored Alabama voters to support Senator Luther Strange in a close Republican primary, putting his personal political clout on the line in a break with his anti-establishment supporters to aid a lawmaker he portrayed as a loyal soldier for his agenda.

At a raucous rally that he admitted he would rather not have had to attend, Mr. Trump offered a rambling tribute to Mr. Strange, arguing that he had been unfairly tagged as an establishment lackey and an ally of Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader whose allies have bankrolled much of Mr. Strange’s campaign.

“They say he’s friendly with Mitch — he doesn’t even know Mitch McConnell,” Mr. Trump told a roaring crowd of several thousand at the Von Braun Center. “Luther is a tough, tough cookie. He doesn’t deal with and kowtow to anybody.”

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