Trump’s earliest GOP backers fall on hard times, suspect their relationship put bull’s-eye on them

The Washington Times

Jeff Sessions is out of office, Rep. Duncan Hunter is under indictment and former Sheriff Joe Arpaio won a presidential pardon, but hasn’t won much else. President Trump’s earliest supporters have not fared well, for the most part. The travails of those who worked for Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign have been well documented. Former Chairman Paul Manafort is in jail, snared by special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. Former national security aide Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to investigators and turned state’s evidence. Top strategist Stephen K. Bannon took a White House job, then lost it. But those kinds of shakeups happen in any campaign or White House. A remarkable run of ill luck has befallen many of the politicians who backed Mr. Trump. The only two members of Congress indicted since 2017 happen to be the two who first endorsed Mr. Trump. Another lost her seat in a Republican primary just months after backing Mr. Trump. The only senator to endorse him, Mr. Sessions, was unceremoniously ousted as attorney general last year. “Because of Trump, a lot of people had to suffer,” said Mr. Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, who became the president’s first high-profile backer in January 2016. “Although on a smaller scale, I’m a good example of that. I feel for some of these guys; they are going after them to get to him.” Months after Mr. Arpaio backed Mr. Trump, he would be indicted by the Obama Justice Department on charges of criminal contempt of court. He would then lose his bid for re-election in November.

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