Donald Trump has reportedly deleted a series of tweets supporting his preferred Senate candidate after he lost the election race.
The US president had backed incumbent Senator Luther Strange in the Alabama Republican primary run-off against controversial firebrand Roy Moore, who once said that being gay should be made illegal.
In an upset likely to rock the Republican establishment, Mr Moore secured victory to take the party’s nomination for the seat previously held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Mr Moore will go on to face Democrat Doug Jones in an election in December.
Throughout the campaign, Mr Moore argued the election was an opportunity to send a message to the ‘elite Washington establishment’ that he said was trying to influence the race.
Mr Trump gave his full backing to Mr Strange, but congratulated Mr Moore on Twitter shortly after the result.
Congratulations to Roy Moore on his Republican Primary win in Alabama. Luther Strange started way back & ran a good race. Roy, WIN in Dec!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 27, 2017
However, back in August, the president’s Twitter feed was full of praise for his man, Mr Strange.
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On August 9, Mr Trump tweeted: ‘Senator Luther Strange has done a great job representing the people of the Great State of Alabama. He has my complete and total endorsement!’
Senator Luther Strange has done a great job representing the people of the Great State of Alabama. He has my complete and total endorsement!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2017
While that tweet remains on the social networking site, other tweets from Mr Trump have been deleted, The Hill and Factbase reported.
These include the following tweets that are no longer available:
– ‘Big election tomorrow in the Great State of Alabama. Vote for Senator Luther Strange, tough on crime & border – will never let you down!’
– ‘Luther Strange has been shooting up in the Alabama polls since my endorsement. Finish the job – vote today for “Big Luther”.’
– ‘ALABAMA, get out and vote for Luther Strange – he has proven to me that he will never let you down! #MAGA’.
— Jon Passantino (@passantino) September 27, 2017
Mr Moore was twice elected chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and twice removed from those duties.
In 2003, he was removed from office for disobeying a federal judge’s order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state courthouse lobby.
Last year, he was permanently suspended after a disciplinary panel ruled he had urged probate judges to defy federal court decisions on gay marriage and deny wedding licenses to same-sex couples.
Mr Trump endorsed Mr Strange in the race and tweeted support for him on multiple occasions. As polls showed Mr Strange in danger of losing, the president visited Alabama to campaign at a rally attended by more than 7,000 people.
Mr Moore, propelled by evangelical voters, consolidated support from a number of anti-establishment forces, including the pro-Trump Great America Alliance and former White House strategist Steve Bannon, who spoke at a rally on Monday.
Mr Trump said at the Alabama rally that he would campaign for Mr Moore in the general election if he secured the nomination but he believed Mr Moore would have a tougher time against the Democrat in the race.
Mr Moore led his opponent by about 25,000 votes in the crowded August primary, which went to a runoff between the two because neither topped 50 percent in the voting.
Mr Strange, the state’s former attorney general, was appointed to Mr Sessions’ seat in February by then-Governor Robert Bentley, who resigned two months later as politicians opened impeachment hearings against him.
Throughout the Senate race, Mr Strange had been dogged by criticisms of accepting the appointment from a scandal-battered governor when his office was in charge of corruption investigations.