Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., endorsed Donald Trump on Friday night at a rally in New Hampshire, throwing his support behind the former president instead of fellow South Carolinian Nikki Haley.
“I came to the very warm state of New Hampshire to endorse the next president of these United States — President Donald Trump,” Scott said.
He is the latest in a string of former Republican presidential rivals to support Trump, following Vivek Ramaswamy's decision Monday to drop out of the 2024 race and back Trump after the Iowa caucuses. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum also recently gave Trump his support.
But Scott, of South Carolina, is a bigger prize ahead of his home state primary on Feb. 24. He endorsed Trump over Haley, who as governor of the state appointed him to his Senate seat in 2012 before Scott then won re-election multiple times in his own right.
“Interesting that Trump’s lining up with all the Washington insiders when he claimed he wanted to drain the swamp," Haley said earlier Friday in response to Scott's plans to endorse Trump. “But the fellas are gonna do what the fellas are gonna do.”
Scott finalized his decision to back Trump on Friday morning after the former president and Haley approached him this week to ask about an endorsement, a source involved in Scott’s decision-making told NBC News. DeSantis had not made an explicit ask for Scott's endorsement since December.
In addition to Friday night's event in New Hampshire, conversations are underway about Scott potentially joining Trump again on Sunday or Monday.
Trump has also been endorsed by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and three of the state's Republican members of the U.S. House. Haley's lone congressional endorsement is from Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C.
Trump now has the official backing of 26 out of 49 Senate Republicans.
Scott's endorsement comes four days before the New Hampshire primary, where Trump hopes to further capitalize on his landslide win in the Iowa caucuses.
Scott, who dropped out of the presidential race in November, is also seen as a potential running mate for Trump should he win the Republican nomination.