Some Republican Senate candidates who once trumpeted the blessing of former White House adviser Steve Bannon are now denying he ever endorsed them.
Bannon's backing was once seen as coveted validation with Republicans' unsettled base but has now become a predicament since his falling-out with the president. A number of conservatives have abruptly found themselves caught between a high-profile ally and a president who prizes loyalty above all else.
The awkward sidestepping illustrates the role loyalty to Trump is playing at the outset of the 2018 midterm GOP primaries and the new concern of alienating Trump devotees Bannon's public support once promised.
Two Senate candidates from Wisconsin and Arizona now argue that an organization affiliated with Bannon, not Bannon himself, is with them, despite lauding him by name last fall.