Sen. Tim Scott to endorse Donald Trump: Sources

(WASHINGTON) — Sen. Tim Scott is expected to endorse former President Donald Trump for president at a rally in New Hampshire Friday evening, sources confirmed to ABC News — delivering a blow to Nikki Haley, who appointed Scott to the Senate when she was South Carolina governor.

The news, first reported by the New York Times, comes after a source confirmed to ABC News that Haley and Trump reached out to Scott for his endorsement. The source told ABC that Trump kept in touch with Scott since he suspended his presidential campaign in November.

A source told ABC News that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis reached out to Scott as well, although the nature of their conversation was not confirmed.

A spokesperson for Trump did not immediately respond for comment.

The endorsement comes just a few days before the New Hampshire primary, set for Jan. 23.

Throughout his campaign, Scott was plagued by rumors that he was vying to be Trump’s vice president. Many voters told ABC News that they saw Scott more as a No. 2. Scott slammed the rumors, saying he did not run for president to be in second place.

Scott, who has pledged not to run for reelection in the Senate, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” in December that his endorsement “certainly won’t happen this year, if I do it at all.” A source confirmed to ABC News that he arrived at this decision only recently.

Haley, who served as South Carolina governor from 2011 to 2017, appointed Scott to the Senate in 2012.

Haley finished in close second to DeSantis in the Iowa caucuses — both of whom lost to Donald Trump. She’s trailing the former president in New Hampshire polls, according to 538’s most recent polling averages. A primary win could be used as a way to build momentum for her campaign as Haley heads into her home state of South Carolina, where she is still polling far behind Trump.

In a statement, Haley drew on Trump’s own words to criticize Scott’s endorsement.

“Interesting that Trump’s lining up with all the Washington insiders when he claimed he wanted to drain the swamp,” Haley said in the statement. “But the fellas are gonna do what the fellas are gonna do.”

ABC News’ Nicholas Kerr contributed to this report.

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