Trump endorses Alabama congresswoman who disavowed him in 2016

President Donald Trump on Friday endorsed an Alabama congresswoman who in 2016 rescinded her endorsement of the then-Republican nominee after his crude remarks on the “Access Hollywood” tape were made public.

Earlier this month, Rep. Martha Roby was forced into a runoff race with Democratic-turned-Republican former Congressman Bobby Bright. The failure was viewed as Roby paying a price for saying publicly that she would not vote for Trump in 2016 after she heard him casually talk about forcibly grabbing women and kissing them.

Trump, however, praised Roby in a tweet on Friday, calling her a “consistent and reliable” vote for his agenda.

“She is in a Republican Primary run-off against a recent Nancy Pelosi voting Democrat,” Trump tweeted. “I fully endorse Martha for Alabama 2nd Congressional District!”

The endorsement, which came a little less than a month before voters in Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District pick between Roby and Bright on July 17, shows that while Trump and his team are applying a loyalty test to their 2018 endorsements, whether a candidate has continuously defended the President is not the only standard.

Trump’s endorsement carries considerable weight in ruby-red states like Alabama, but the President has not always endorsed incumbents who have been critical of him in the past.

Earlier this month, Trump endorsed Katie Arrington in South Carolina, who was challenging and eventually beat incumbent Republican Rep. Mark Sanford. The tweet was more than just an endorsement of Arrington, too, as it delved into Sanford’s past personal issues and infidelity.

“Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA. He is MIA and nothing but trouble. He is better off in Argentina,” Trump wrote. “I fully endorse Katie Arrington for Congress in SC, a state I love. She is tough on crime and will continue our fight to lower taxes. VOTE Katie!”

Arrington went on to win the primary, which Trump delighted at in the days following. Roby, however, appeared to avoid the Sanford treatment.