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Bromance Bye: Donald Trump pulls Mo Brooks endorsement in Alabama U.S. Senate race
Trump says Brooks became “woke” in suggesting Republicans stop dwelling on 2020
♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com editor
MONTGOMERY (CFP) — Donald Trump has rescinded his endorsement of Alabama U.S Senate candidate U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, accusing him of becoming “woke” for urging Republicans to put the results of the 2020 election behind them and focus on the future.
Trump’s decision is a blow to Brooks’s struggling campaign – but it could also save Trump from what increasingly looked to be an embarrassing defeat by his anointed candidate in the state’s May 24 primary.
It is also likely to set up a spirited chase to get Trump’s seal of approval between Brooks’s Republican rivals, Katie Britt and Mike Durant.
After the announcement, Brooks issued a statement calling Trump’s decision “disappointing” but insisting that he could not do what Trump wanted — try to overturn Joe Biden’s election win after Congress finalized it on January 6, 2021, when rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
“I’ve told President Trump the truth knowing full well that it might cause President Trump to rescind his endorsement,” Brooks said. “But I took a sworn oath to defend and protect the U.S. Constitution. I honor my oath. That is the way I am. I break my sworn oath for no man.”
Even after Trump voted him off the island, Brooks reiterated his allegiance to the former president, saying he was the “only proven America First candidate in this Senate race” and “the only candidate who fought voter fraud and election theft when it counted, between November 3 and January 6.”
He also accused Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of manipulating Trump into pulling the endorsement, although he didn’t explain how.
The denouement between Trump and Brooks is the end of what was once a fervent political romance, capped by Brooks’s fiery speech before the January 6th Capitol riot in which he told the crowd that “today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.”
But things started to turn during a Trump rally last August in Cullman, when Brooks was booed by the crowd after saying that Trump partisans upset by the 2020 results should “put that behind you.”
In his statement withdrawing his endorsement, Trump said that when he heard that statement, “I said, ‘Mo, you just blew the Election, and there’s nothing you can do about it,” even though he continued supporting Brooks for seven more months.
Brooks had also refused for months to say he would oppose Trump nemesis McConnell as Senate party leader, before finally blasting him as “a weak-kneed, debt junkie, open-border RINO Republican” amid rumors that Trump was about to pull his support.
Brooks, 67, has represented North Alabama in the House since 2011. In 2017, he ran for Senate in a special election, coming in third in the Republican primary.
This time around, Brooks has lagged in polling and fundraising behind Britt, a former aide to retiring U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, and Durant, a businessman and former Army officer whose helicopter was shot down in Somalia in 1993, an episode immortalized in the film “Black Hawk Down.”
They are running to replace Shelby, an Alabama political legend retiring after six Senate terms. He has endorsed Britt.
In his statement pulling his Brooks endorsement, Trump said he expected to endorse a candidate in the race “in the near future.” Reuters reported that both Britt and Durant had met with Trump in recent days.