Former President Donald Trump has praised GOP Sen. Roy Blunt after the Missouri lawmaker announced that he will not be seeking re-election to the Senate in 2022. 

“I very much appreciate and respect the career of Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri,” Trump said in a statement issued on Tuesday, March 9, through the Save America PAC.

“He was one of the first people who came to my defense against the Impeachment Hoax #2 (IH-2), and it was greatly appreciated by me,” Trump wrote. “Congratulations to the entire Blunt family, and to Roy on a wonderful career!”

Blunt twice voted to acquit Trump following the Democrats-led impeachment push against the former president.

In a statement in February, Blunt said he did not “want partisan impeachment to become an exercise that happens when one party, not the party of the president, happens to have a majority of the votes in the House of Representatives.”

But as chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, Blunt helped handle the festivities for President Joe Biden’s inauguration at the Capitol earlier this year, according to the Missouri Times.

Trump offered his praise to the Republican senator as the former president is seeking to unite the Republican Party after he declared at the CPAC that he would not start a new party and that he may run for the White House again.

One day earlier, Blunt, 71, announced that he would not run for re-election in 2022 for the seat he has held since 2010.

“After 14 general election victories, three to county office, seven to the United States House of Representatives, and four statewide elections, I won’t be a candidate for re-election to the United States Senate next year,” Blunt said.

“I want to thank my family and thank the great team that came together to help me work for you. Most importantly, thanks to Missourians, whether you voted for me or not,” he said.

Blunt is one of five long-serving Republican not to seek re-election next year.

Sens. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Rob Portman of Ohio, and Richard Shelby of Alabama have announced over the past couple of months that they would not run again. Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina noted in 2016 that he would not run again in 2022. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, 87, is considering bowing out. Some of these lawmakers are facing heat in their home states after joining the Democrats to vote to convict Trump in the Senate trial.

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