Sen. Jim Risch is the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and was the chair during half of Donald Trump’s presidency. | Francis Chung/POLITICO
Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho endorsed Donald Trump on Saturday evening ahead of the Iowa caucuses, giving the former president the support of nearly half the GOP conference before a single caucus or primary contest.
“I realize President Trump greatly aggravates the left and the national media. I believe that is a small price to pay for righting this ship of state which is so greatly listing. I hope Republicans will join me in nominating President Trump,” Risch said in a statement on Saturday provided to POLITICO.
Risch is the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and was the chair during half of Trump’s presidency. In the statement, he criticized President Joe Biden for “knowingly, willingly, and intentionally” reversing Trump’s foreign and domestic policies.
Risch’s backing gives Trump 22 Senate endorsements. No other candidate has any endorsements from GOP senators with many in the party — even those who have issues with Trump — seeing his nomination as increasingly inevitable.