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Losing GOP candidate Sanford: I pledge allegiance to the flag, not Trump

Sanford on Tuesday night lost to South Carolina state Rep. Katie Arrington, a political newcomer who spent much of the campaign blasting Sanford — who had never lost an election — over his lack of loyalty to Trump.

Trump got in on the attack, too, in a tweet on Tuesday, just hours before polls closed, that ripped Sanford’s disagreements with the president and the lawmaker’s much-publicized extramarital affair with an Argentinian journalist.

On “Morning Joe,” Sanford acknowledged that Trump’s tweet hurt him but also discussed how the nature of the president’s “if you offend me, I’m coming back to get you”-style of involvement in his race was “a little outside the norm.”

Sanford admitted that the “traditional merit badges” of conservative values weren’t a factor in the race and advised his fellow Republicans facing re-election on how best to avoid the president’s ire during elections.

“Pledge allegiance to Donald Trump,” he said.

Doing so, Sanford warned, could be “a mistake on a soul level.”

“There are always trade-offs in politics,” he said, “but I think everybody has got to answer that question for themselves.”

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