Donald Trump told Matt Rosendale He Will Not Endorse Him if He Runs for Senate in Montana

U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Former President Donald Trump notified Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT) he will not receive the 45th president’s backing if he enters Montana’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate, as declared candidate and political outsider Tim Sheehy continues to gain the support of Trump allies. 

CNN first reported that Trump had informed Rosendale, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, of his decision, citing an “ally” of the 45th president. A person familiar with the matter confirmed as much to Breitbart News. 

The move has broad implications for the Montana Senate race, where Republicans look to unseat vulnerable three-term Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) in one of several key battleground states that will determine which party has a majority in the next Senate. 

Should Rosendale enter the fray, as he has reportedly told members of Congress he intends, he will square off with Sheehy. Sheehy enjoys endorsements from seven of the ten U.S. Senators who have already endorsed Trump, including National Republican Senatorial Chairman Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT.) He has earned support from other prominent Montana Republicans, including Gov. Greg Gianforte (R-MT) and Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT).

In March, Politico reported Rosendale “has no plans to make a presidential endorsement,” which was unlikely to help an endorsement bid. On the other hand, Sheehy gave a full-throated endorsement of the 45th president in April while speaking with Montana Talks. A source close to the former president described a stark contrast between the two last month. 

“While career politician Matt Rosendale cowardly kowtows to his anti-MAGA globalist donors and refuses to support Trump in 2024, Tim Sheehy gave a middle finger to the establishment by publicly endorsing Trump for reelection in 2024,” the person said. “Unlike Rosendale, Sheehy is a strong America First conservative and a true political outsider who is already proving that he has the courage to stand up to the swamp in Washington, DC.” 

Rosendale, who backed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the 2016 primary, has a complicated history with Trump. Rosendale was one of several opponents of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) during the 14th unsuccessful ballot in the speakership election earlier this year. After that ballot, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) attempted to place Rosendale on the phone with Trump, who was working behind the scenes to help get McCarthy across the finish line. Rosendale, who received Trump’s endorsement in his 2022 reelection bid, waved away the phone in a viral image from that evening. 

“Rosendale shouted repeatedly, ‘Don’t you ever do me like that!’” wrote Punchbowl News Managing editor Heather Caygle in a tweet at the time.

The representative came within 17,913 votes of unseating Tester in 2018’s Senate race, which equated to a nearly five percent margin between the two.

In the GOP U.S. Senate primary in West Virginia, another race that provides a key pick-up opportunity for Republicans, Trump has “privately suggested to” Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) “that he is unlikely to back him in the Senate GOP primary over Gov. Jim Justice,” CNN noted.


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