Former US President Donald Trump, a Republican, has released a pair of surprise endorsements for the upcoming midterm elections, lavishing praise ahead of the Democratic primaries in New York on two Democratic candidates central to his first impeachment by Congress.
The endorsements represented a stark about-face for Trump, who just days earlier had unleashed a scathing invective against one of the candidates, lawyer Dan Goldman, who was lead counsel in the Democrat-led House impeachment of Trump from 2019 to 2020.
Now, Trump, in a post on his social media site Truth Social on Wednesday, called him “honourable, fair, and highly intelligent”.
He also endorsed Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who is currently leading a House Oversight Committee investigation into Trump’s alleged storing of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate, saying she will “never let our conservative movement down”. Trump has repeatedly dismissed the myriad congressional investigations into his conduct as part of a coordinated “witch hunt”.
The endorsements, which many social media users quickly dismissed as “trolling”, appeared to underscore a unique tactic employed heavily ahead of this year’s US primary polls, which are the elections used by political parties in states and territories across the US to select their candidates ahead of federal legislative and presidential, as well as state-level, general elections.
I’m coming for you, Donald. pic.twitter.com/qCxxykBBRJ
— Daniel Goldman (@danielsgoldman) August 17, 2022
Under the approach, instead of party members and affiliated groups only pouring money and endorsements into their own party’s race, they use those tools to seek to influence which candidate is elected by the opposing party. While insincere, the messaging is allowed under free speech and election laws, as long as proper disclosure requirements are met.
Lawyer Goldman swiftly accused Trump of seeking to turn the New York primary on August 23, in which Goldman is running to represent an extremely Democratic-leaning district of New York City in Congress. The winner of this Democratic primary is all but assured to win in the general midterm elections in November, which will determine which party controls the US House of Representatives and US Senate, the two chambers of the US legislature.