Donald Trump Nabs First Congressional Endorsements

Rep. Chris Collins and Rep. Duncan Hunter support Trump's bid for president.

ByABC News
February 24, 2016, 12:38 PM

— -- After winning his third consecutive GOP primary contest Tuesday in Nevada, Donald Trump has landed his first congressional endorsements, the latest sign members of the Republican political establishment are coming to terms with the New York businessman securing the GOP presidential nomination.

Rep. Chris Collins, R-New York, a wealthy former businessman from upstate New York, said in a statement this morning that Trump "understands the importance of American exceptionalism, and has the unique qualifications to make America great again."

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-California, told Politico this morning that he will support Trump’s bid for the GOP nomination for president, a message aimed at GOP primary voters and his own colleagues in Congress who have been reluctant to acknowledge Trump’s rise.

“We don’t need a policy wonk as president,” said Hunter, who previously supported Mike Huckabee's presidential bid. “We need a leader as president.”

On Monday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told MSNBC he thinks Trump has a better than 50 percent chance at winning the GOP nomination for president.

However, many Republicans remain unwilling to accept the possibility that Trump could win the nomination, including former presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, who sparred with Trump on the campaign trial.

"I'm running out of adjectives how bad I think Donald Trump is for the party and the country," he told reporters Tuesday.

For his part, Trump, who holds a commanding lead over the rest of the GOP primary field after winning 46 percent of the vote in the Nevada Republican caucus Tuesday, has dismissed endorsements, calling them a "waste of time" in an interview on "Good Morning America" today.

"Now, and as of yesterday, people were calling, a lot of people were calling and I'll have many endorsements soon, but it's not something I want to work for, to be honest with you, because it's a waste of time. Endorsements mean very little," Trump said.