President: Base didn't support Heller for Interior, re-election

Sen Dean Heller official portrait.
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LAS VEGAS (AP) - President Donald Trump says he didn't pick former Nevada Sen. Dean Heller to be his nominee for U.S. Interior Secretary because he couldn't get his base excited about the Republican.

Trump told reporters Wednesday that he believes Heller lost his re-election bid last year because the former senator had been "extremely hostile" to Trump during the 2016 election.

Heller told the Las Vegas-Review-Journal that the president told him he would win his election by five points and now Trump "has a different spin on that."

Heller says he had the backing of conservatives in Nevada, including hunting, cattlemen and agriculture groups, who were pushing for Heller to be the new Interior chief.

Heller says he considers the president a friend and feels he did a lot of good for his campaign.

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