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*-- Trump gains first Senate endorsement --*

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Donald Trump has received his first endorsement from a sitting U.S. senator, yet another sign his insurgent presidential campaign is gaining momentum, even inside the Republican political establishment he regularly rails against.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., endorsed Trump at a rally in Huntsville on Sunday before a crowd of 32,000 supporters. Sessions told the crowd he decided to endorse the real estate mogul because he's started a political "movement" that's in tune with an angry electorate.

The endorsement comes at an opportune moment for Trump's surging campaign. Alabama is one of 11 states that will hold a primary or caucus on Super Tuesday.

"I've told Donald Trump ... this is a movement," Sessions said. "The American people are not happy with their government. We have an opportunity Tuesday, for the people's voice to be heard. You have asked for 30 years ... to fix illegal immigration. Have they done it? Donald Trump will do it."

Sessions went on in his brief remarks to assail trade deals negotiated by President Barack Obama, promising the crowd Trump's election would end "Obamatrade."

Trump had not gained a single endorsement from Capitol Hill until after his victory in Nevada on Tuesday. Reps. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., and Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., put their weight behind the real estate mogul on Wednesday.

And while one member of the GOP's political establishment backed an outsider, one of the remaining mainstream candidates picked up a boost ahead of Super Tuesday, as well. NBC reported Marco Rubio has received the backing of his Senate colleague, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who represents another Southern state casting votes on Super Tuesday.

Rubio, a senator from Florida, has campaigned hard in Tennessee and plans to hold a rally in Knoxville, Tenn., later Monday. He has also garnered the endorsement of Gov. Bill Haslam and the former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who also hails from the Volunteer State.


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