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Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher August 8, 2018

'Always'? No. Leah Vukmir didn't back Donald Trump until after he won the presidential nomination

Leah Vukmir blasted Kevin Nicholson, her opponent for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, for running a digital ad that undercuts her declarations of support for President Donald Trump.

The winner of their Aug. 14, 2018 primary will face Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

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In a July 31, 2018 interview on the national Fox Business Network, host Stuart Varney had this exchange with Vukmir about Trump:

Varney: Do you back him 100 percent?

Vukmir: I have always been there with him, I’ve stood with him, I continue to stand with him.

Always? No.


Before the Wisconsin primary in April 2016, Vukmir first supported Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who briefly ran for the GOP nomination before dropping out in September 2015. Then she backed U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who ended his run in March 2016. Vukmir said she ultimately voted for Cruz in the Wisconsin primary.

So, Vukmir wasn’t with Trump then.

(For his part, Nicholson wasn’t an original Trump supporter, either. He supported Rubio initially, but said he voted for Trump in the primary.)

It wasn’t until the general election campaign that Vukmir endorsed Trump, was part of a women for Trump group and appeared in a radio ad supporting his candidacy against the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.

Vukmir’s campaign didn’t respond to our requests to provide information on this fact check.

(Note: We’ve rated as False a claim by Nicholson that Vukmir said: "I’m not endorsing Donald Trump.")

All of our fact checks in the Wisconsin U.S. Senate race.


Our rating

Vukmir said: "I have always been there with" Trump.

Vukmir prominently supported Trump for president in 2016 after he won the Republican nomination. But before that, she supported other GOP contenders for the nomination and was sharply critical of Trump.

We rate Vukmir’s statement False.  

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"I have always been there with" Donald Trump.
In an interview
Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Our Sources

Fox Business Network, Leah Vukmir interview, July 31, 2018

Email, Kevin Nicholson campaign spokeswoman Ronica Cleary, Aug. 7, 2018

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin U.S. Senate race: Leah Vukmir blasts Kevin Nicholson as both claim to be top backer of Donald Trump," Aug. 7, 2018

Wisconsin State Journal, "GOP US Senate primary turns brutal over who's more loyal to Donald Trump," Aug. 1, 2018

Associated Press, "Senate hopeful Vukmir reaffirms support for Trump in new ad," Aug. 6, 2018

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Republican Senate candidate Leah Vukmir once bashed Trump. Are GOP voters OK with that?" Aug. 2, 2018

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More by Tom Kertscher

'Always'? No. Leah Vukmir didn't back Donald Trump until after he won the presidential nomination

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