Nevada GOP Senate candidate lashes out after Trump endorses opponent

Nevada Republican Senate candidate Jeff Gunter accused the National Republican Senate Committee (NRSC) of sabotaging his campaign shortly after former President Trump endorsed his opponent.

Gunter, who served as a U.S. Ambassador to Iceland during the Trump administration, initially alleged on Monday that the NRSC, the committee tasked with electing Republicans to the Senate, had stymied his run for the Nevada seat currently held by Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.).

His initial jabs at the committee, posted Monday on social media platform X, alleged that a pay-for-play scheme was orchestrated between the Trump World and the NRSC.

Gunter asserted that his main primary contender, Retired Army Capt. Sam Brown, was lined up for a Trump endorsement to take place during the former president President’s rally in Las Vegas.

“Scam is told by his handlers he’s getting endorsed at the rally,” Gunter wrote Monday on X, referring to Brown.

He then went after the NRSC and Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), the committee’s chair, accusing them in a Monday night call with Politico of dissuading some entities from supporting his upper chamber run.

Gunter, a dermatologist, told Politico that NRSC pressured a Republican consulting firm, The Strategy Group, to rescind their work with him, something the firm denied. He also said that Daines attempted to “intimidate” him from running.

The NRSC repudiated Gunter’s assertions, saying that he was making “defamatory” accusations.

“Jeff Gunter has become totally unglued and is making false, defamatory accusations against NRSC and President Trump,” NRSC Communications Director Mike Berg said in a statement to The Hill. “Gunter’s insane rant made him sound like Adam Schiff on a witch hunt, which makes sense, because Gunter is also a California Democrat.”

The Trump campaign also fired back, saying Gunter’s accusations were evidence of why the former president could not back the businessman running for Senate.

“Proof Point as to why @DrJeffGunter didn’t earn the endorsement of @realDonaldTrump you have a habit of making up crap,” Trump’s Senior Advisor Chris LaCivitia said on X. “President Trump makes his own decisions and this is another example of him choosing wisely.”

The former president did not weigh into the state’s competitive Senate GOP primary until this past weekend, when he attended a fundraiser on Saturday and held a rally on Sunday.

During the rally, attended by both Gunter and Brown, Trump called Brown a “good man” but did not offer his full-fledged support of the Army veteran. Hours later, however, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee made a surprise last-minute endorsement on TruthSocial, calling Brown a “FEARLESS AMERICAN PATRIOT, a Purple Heart Recipient, who has proven he has the ‘PURE GRIT’ and COURAGE to take on our Enemies, both Foreign and Domestic.”

The NRSC has already rallied around Brown during the primary contest.

Gunter told Politico that he spoke with Trump Saturday night, the day before the rally and that the former president said “It really doesn’t seem to me like you’re losing.”

The Nevada GOP primary is scheduled for Tuesday. The Silver State is one of the few battlegrounds that could determine who will win the White House and control the Senate.

The Hill has reached out to Brown’s campaign for comment.

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