Republican Sen. Mark Kirk reverses course, says he will not support Donald Trump

GOP U.S. Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois is withdrawing his previous endorsement of Donald Trump. He’s the first Republican U.S. Senator to do that. Via the Washington Post

Sen. Mark Kirk, an Illinois Republican facing a difficult re-election campaign, reversed course Tuesday and withdrew his support for presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Kirk is the first Republican senator up for re-election this year to break with Trump, and his decision puts new pressure on vulnerable GOP incumbents in other swing states — notably Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire — to part ways with their party’s presidential standard-bearer.

About a month ago, Kirk described Trump, who won the Illinois primary, as a “net benefit” to his candidacy who was luring many new GOP voters to the polls.

But Kirk appears to have decided that Trump’s popularity with some Republican voters is not enough to stick with him through November given the businessman’s most recent controversy, surrounding his racially tinged attacks on the federal judge handling a civil lawsuit surrounding his “Trump University” real estate seminars.

In a statement, Kirk said that while he opposed the Democratic presidential nominee, “Trump’s latest statements, in context with past attacks on Hispanics, women and the disabled like me, make it certain that I cannot and will not support my party’s nominee for president regardless of the political impact on my candidacy or the Republican Party.”