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Trump falsely claims he didn’t endorse border bill co-author James Lankford

Trump publicly endorsed Lankford for re-election in 2022, saying he believed the conservative Oklahoma senator was “Strong on the Border.” 
James Lankford at the U.S. Capitol,
Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., pictured at the Capitol on Monday, was a lead negotiator on a bipartisan border and foreign aid bill that former President Donald Trump opposes. J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Former President Donald Trump falsely claimed in an interview Monday that he did not endorse Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., for re-election in 2022. 

“Just to correct the record, I did not endorse Sen. Lankford. I didn’t do it. He ran, and I did not endorse him,” Trump told right-wing radio host Dan Bongino in an interview after Bongino noted that Trump previously endorsed Lankford.

But in a Sept. 27, 2022, statement, Trump gave Lankford his “Complete and Total Endorsement!” 

“Sometimes we didn’t exactly agree on everything, but we do now,” Trump said in a statement ahead of the midterm elections. “He is a very good man with a fabulous wife and family, loves the great State of Oklahoma, and is working very hard on trying to Save our Country from the disaster that it is in.”

Trump also praised Lankford’s commitment to improving border security.

“James Lankford is Strong on the Border, Tough on Crime, and Very Smart on the Economy,” Trump’s statement said. 

Trump’s false claim Monday about not previously having endorsed Lankford came after Lankford helped negotiate a bipartisan border security bill in Congress that Trump is trying to quash.

The bill aims to address record-high border crossings with a series of provisions that would include language to tighten an asylum system that has been overwhelmed with migrants. The bill also includes aid for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan.

Trump has demanded Republicans reject the legislation, claiming it would be a “gift” to Democrats and Biden.

In his interview Monday, Trump bashed Lankford’s support of the new border bill, adding that it would hurt Lankford’s support in his home state. 

“This is a very bad bill for his career and especially in Oklahoma,” Trump said. “I know those people. They’re great people. They’re not going to be happy about this.”

Lankford is not up for re-election until 2028. He served in the House from 2011 to 2015 and has been in the Senate since 2015.