GOP Senate Hopeful Twice Avoids Answering If She Wants Trump's Endorsement

Washington state Senate candidate Tiffany Smiley, a Republican, declined to say when pressed in an interview on Sunday whether or not she wants an endorsement from former President Donald Trump.

Smiley is challenging incumbent Senator Patty Murray, a Democrat, in the midterm elections that will be held in November. In her interview on CNN's State of the Union, host Dana Bash asked Smiley twice if she wanted Trump's support.

"In March you told McClatchy that you welcomed former President Donald Trump's endorsement. You said 'If the president wants to support us, that's awesome.' Do you still want the former president's endorsement, do you want him to come campaign for you in Washington state?" Bash asked.

"This campaign has been so successful, we have a strong grassroots movement because I am laser-focused on the endorsement of the voters of Washington state. If someone from our party wants to endorse me, get behind me, support us, that's great," the Senate hopeful responded.

GOP Senate Hopeful Avoids Trump Endorsement Question
Above, former president Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally on Saturday in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Republican Washington Senate candidate Tiffany Smiley declined to say when pressed in an interview on Sunday whether or not she would like an endorsement from Trump. Spencer Platt

"I am laser-focused on retiring career politician Patty Murray who has forgotten about Washington state...She fights for Washington D.C., I will fight for the voters of Washington state," she added.

Bash, however, then repeated the question: "Do you want Donald Trump's endorsement, yes or no?"

"I am laser-focused on delivering results for the voters of Washington state and I have been clear about that from day one. I am focused on the future and we have a state to save, there are real people suffering here in Washington state," Smiley said.

Newsweek has reached out to Smiley's campaign for comment.

Trump is campaigning for and supporting Republican candidates across the country in the run-up to the November midterm elections. On Saturday, he attended a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, for U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz, and gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, who are in competitive races.

In an interview on Saturday, ex-GOP Representative Charlie Dent said Trump gave Democrats a "major gift" in the midterms by holding the rally.

"Just by showing up in Pennsylvania he is making the election much more about himself, and of course most Republican candidates don't want anything to do with Donald Trump in this general election, they want this to be about Joe Biden and the Democrats," Dent told CNN.

While Republicans are challenging incumbent Democrats in competitive Senate races across the country, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has recently expressed some skepticism about how the GOP will perform in the midterms.

In an interview last month, the Kentucky Republican said there's a "greater likelihood" that Republicans will be able to flip control in the U.S. House than the Senate this November.