U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., has found an early and powerful ally in his 2022 reelection bid.
Former President Donald Trump said the junior senator from South Carolina has his "complete and total endorsement" in a statement issued by the Save America PAC on March 2.
"He is both an outstanding Senator and a person who works tirelessly for the people of his great state, and the USA," Trump said in a statement. "Strong on the Military, Law Enforcement, loves our Vets, protects our Second Amendment and our Borders."
On Twitter, the Republican said, "Thank you, President Trump!" Bradford Traywick, a spokesman for the senator, said Scott welcomed the endorsement.
"Tim Scott is honored to have President Trump’s endorsement," Traywick said. "In just four years they were able to pass historic tax reform, achieve record unemployment, seat 220+ conservative judges, begin Operation Warp speed, and enact vital criminal justice reform. He is looking forward to building on this success and putting South Carolinians first."
The GOP senator has been seen as a rising star in the party even as it faces an identity crisis following Trump's tenure in the White House.
Scott has been able to walk a fine line of Trump loyalty and also be a critic of his divisive rhetoric.
Scott previously said the Trump administration’s “moral authority” had been compromised because of the response to the racial violence during a 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.
In 2019, he also said Trump’s comments were “racially offensive” when he targeted a group of Democratic congresswomen and told them to “go back” to their countries of origin.
In 2020, Scott defended Trump and said he "misspoke" when the then-president told the far-right extremist group the Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by" during a televised debate against then-Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
Scott has said his 2022 election bid, which he is favored to win, will be his last run for that office.
Speculation continues to grow whether he will be in the conversation for the White House in 2024.
At the Conservative Political Action Conference last week, Scott's name appeared in the straw poll results alongside Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, former South Carolina governor and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.