After Nebraska GOP gubernatorial candidate Charles Herbster, a businessman endorsed by former President Donald Trump, was accused of sexually assaulting eight women, including a state senator, Republicans throughout the state washed their hands of him, and sitting Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts told him to end his campaign and "get help."
But according to POLITICO on Thursday, Trump himself is still all in on Herbster's candidacy.
"Trump did not withdraw his support for Herbster, or scrap plans to hold a Friday evening rally for the candidate in Nebraska. Instead, he doubled down: The former president relayed word that Herbster wasn't fighting back hard enough, backing plans for Herbster to hold a press conference aggressively denying the allegations and pushing back at his adversaries," reported Alex Isenstadt.
"Herbster followed suit, blasting the allegations as a 'smear campaign' taken from the same 'playbook' used to target Trump and Supreme Court justices Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh, when they faced accusations of sexual misconduct," Isenstadt continued. "And Herbster ... boasted to reporters that he had brought on a law firm used by Trump to defend himself."
Herbster faces two opponents in the GOP primary for governor: state Sen. Brett Lindstrom, and hog farming executive Jim Pillen. But Trump shows no signs of moving his support to either.
"Trump's unflinching support of Herbster, who served on a Trump White House agricultural panel and has known the former president since 2005, starkly illustrates the all-encompassing emphasis the former president places on loyalty," noted the report. "When Trump associates have faced allegations of misconduct, the question of what they did has often taken a back seat to how close they've been to Trump — who has then offered allies everything from pardons to campaign support in their time of need."
Trump himself has faced numerous allegations of sexual misconduct, from forcible kissing and touching to rape.