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Sarah Huckabee Sanders reportedly declined to endorse Trump


(WASHINGTON) — Sarah Huckabee Sanders touted her endorsement from former President Donald Trump to help win the Arkansas governor’s mansion, but although Trump reportedly has asked her to return the favor for his 2024 White House bid, Sanders so far has kept publicly silent.

With his reelection bid underway, Trump asked Sanders for her endorsement in a phone call “weeks ago,” according to the New York Times. The Times reported Sanders replied she wouldn’t yet do so and hasn’t weighed in publicly since.

Trump, for his part, denied asking for her endorsement on Sunday on his Truth Social media platform, saying he never asked Sanders for her endorsement, while taking credit for her political success.

“I give endorsements, I don’t generally ask for them,” Trump posted. “With that being said, nobody has done more for her than I have, with the possible exception of her great father, Mike.”

Trump’s spokesperson and Sanders’ office had not responded to ABC News’ requests for comment as of Tuesday afternoon.

Sanders, the longest-serving White House press secretary under Trump, followed in the footsteps of her father, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, to become the first father-daughter governor duo in the nation.

But it was serving in Trump’s White House that propelled Sanders to become a household name herself.

Some of Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters, such as Steve Bannon, are questioning why Trump hadn’t seen more endorsements. Bannon and Sanders worked together in Trump’s White House until he was removed from his position as chief strategist in Aug. 2017.

“Sarah … are you listening?” he said on his podcast “The War Room.”

In an interview in January on “Fox News Sunday,” Sanders declined the opportunity to endorse Trump and said her focus was on serving Arkansas, not 2024.

“My focus right now has been on 2022, winning the election in November, preparing through transition and getting ready to take office, as I did this past week. I love the president. I have a great relationship with him. I know our country will be infinitely better off if he was in office right now instead of Joe Biden,” Sanders said. “My focus isn’t on 2024.”

The Arkansas state legislature on Tuesday is expected to pass Sanders’ landmark legislation, the LEARNS Act, which imitates elements of Florida’s education policy enacted under Gov. Ron DeSantis — thought to be Trump’s closest competitor in 2024. Sanders also tapped DeSantis’ education secretary Jacob Oliva to bring Florida’s plan to Arkansas as it’s unclear if she could be waiting for another candidate to endorse.

According to an Axios report on Tuesday, Sanders is among four women Trump is currently considering as vice presidential pick. The others include South Dakota Kristi Noem, Gov. former U.N. Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, the most high-profile of Trump’s announced challengers, and Kari Lake, who has not conceded the race for Arizona governor.

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