President Trump on Wednesday evening endorsed New York Rep. Dan Donovan in his heated Republican primary with former congressman Michael Grimm.



Donovan did not correct the record — he actually voted against the president's tax cut proposal.

It is not clear at this time if Trump informed Donovan of the endorsement before his tweet.

For the president, keeping the seat in GOP hands could be on his mind. Grimm spent time in prison on federal tax evasion charges, and is thought to be more vulnerable in a general election campaign.

Trump argued that Donovan would be best for Republicans in the general election, while "his opponent" would not:



Grimm downplayed the endorsement, tweeting that Donovan has "voted against President Trump every time it's mattered."

Both Grimm and Donovan have attempted to demonstrate to voters in New York's 11th congressional district — which is comprised of Staten Island and a portion of southern Brooklyn — that they are close supporters of the president. In 2016, Trump won Staten Island with 56 percent of the vote. As a result, they have both been boasting about their support for the commander-in-chief.


"President Trump deserves to be up in every one of our post offices and we are going to make sure it happens," Donovan said last month, referring to proposed legislation to require the post office hang pictures of the president and vice president in its offices, something those offices used to do.

"He is our president, number one, but he is also a Republican president and we need to have his back," Grimm said.

When NY1 reached out to the White House in April, we were told they had nothing to say about the race at that time.

Sources backing Donovan told us at one point the White House asked Donovan's team for venues — indicating there could be a possible trip to Staten Island in the future. It is unclear if that will actually happen.

"I have not spoken to the president about it," Donovan said last month. "When I saw him at the State of the Union address, he pointed to me and said, 'You got to win this thing.' I said, 'With your help, I will.' We got to talk to the president about it."

But for months, it was not clear if Trump would ever weigh in on the race.

Last week, Trump invited Donovan and other federal and local officials to a roundtable discussion on MS-13 on Long Island. That invitation was not an endorsement by the president.

"We didn't talk about it," Donovan responded when asked if he had a chance to ask Trump for an endorsement. "This was about what we were here for today: the panel and what he is doing for law enforcement."

Donovan was scheduled to fly back to Washington D.C. on Air Force One with the president after the event. It's not clear if he asked for an endorsement then.

Eight days before that roundtable, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who works for Trump's legal team, endorsed the current congressman. The former mayor said Donovan has done enough to show he supports Trump.

Donovan already has received the support of House Speaker Paul Ryan, and many of the Republican leaders on Staten Island, in his reelection bid. "I support Donovan," said House Speaker Paul Ryan. "Plain and simple."

Grimm, meanwhile, has received the backing of Anthony Scaramucci, Trump's former White House communications director, who campaigned for Grimm on Staten Island less than two weeks ago.

Watch NY1's congressional primary debate between Michael Grimm and Dan Donovan on June 14 at 7 p.m.