EXCLUSIVE — Quite a few Republican senators are throwing their assist behind former colleague Jeff Classes the day after he made a last-minute entrance into Alabama’s Senate race and are encouraging conservatives to do the identical, as the previous lawyer common works to make peace with President Trump.

Fox Information has realized that Alabama’s senior senator, Richard Shelby, is circulating an “open letter to conservatives” signed by no less than 11 Republican senators who’re endorsing Classes’ candidacy. Classes served within the Senate from 1997 to 2017 till he joined the Trump administration as lawyer common.

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“Every of us has served in the USA Senate with Jeff Classes,” the letter, obtained by Fox Information, states. “We’ve got seen him work diligently within the public eye and behind closed doorways, when issues have been each good and unhealthy, underneath stress and in success.”

The letter is signed by Shelby, Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi, Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo, Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson, Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, Arkansas Sen. John Boozman, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson and Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer.

“We all know Jeff’s character and his temperament,” the letter reads. “We all know his dedication to his ideas. We all know he’s a person of his phrase. And we all know he’s dedicated to serving the individuals of Alabama.

It provides: “We consider Jeff Classes has extra to supply his nation, and we consider the USA Senate will probably be higher along with his expertise and management.”

Throughout a Thursday look on Fox Information’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Classes introduced plans to enter the race. Classes, who resigned from the Justice Division a yr in the past amid public assaults from the president, was one among Trump’s most loyal and trusted advisers earlier than their relationship soured over his recusal from the Russia investigation.

A significant query hanging over Classes’ entrance into the race is whether or not Trump — who has remained well-liked in Alabama — would take steps to thwart his bid.

However up to now, Trump has not publicly attacked Classes since he entered the race. Requested by reporters about Classes on Friday, the president famous how Classes had stated “good” issues about him in his marketing campaign announcement. He stated he received’t marketing campaign in opposition to Classes however acknowledged the previous lawyer common can have “powerful competitors” within the GOP main to tackle incumbent Sen. Doug Jones, a Democrat.

Among the many different Republicans operating: U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, former Auburn soccer coach Tommy Tuberville, former Alabama Supreme Courtroom chief justice Roy Moore, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, businessman Stanley Adair and State Rep. Arnold Mooney.

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A few of these rivals are going after Classes by relitigating his historical past with Trump, portraying him as not sufficiently pro-Trump. “Alabama deserves a senator who will stand with the president and received’t run away and conceal from the combat,” Byrne stated in a press release.

Tuberville went even additional, tweeting, “As AG, he failed the President at his level of best want.” Tuberville’s marketing campaign launched an advert Thursday highlighting Trump’s previous feedback calling Classes a “whole catastrophe” and “embarrassment” to Alabama.

The senators, although, in Friday’s letter vouched for him. Shelby stated Classes is “well-suited to return to his position as United States Senator for the state of Alabama, the place I served with him for greater than 20 years.” Inhofe stated, “We’d like him again within the Senate.” Barrasso stated Classes “was unflinching ‘America First’ earlier than it was cool.”