Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday rescinded his endorsement of Alabama Senate candidate Rep. Mo Brooks, citing comments by the House Republican that the results of the 2020 election cannot be overturned.
Trump asserted in a statement that Brooks went “woke” by arguing it was legally impossible for the former president to be reinstated. Trump also criticized Brooks for hiring “a new campaign staff who ‘brilliantly’ convinced him to ‘stop talking about the 2020 Election.’”
“I am hereby withdrawing my Endorsement of Mo Brooks for the Senate,” Trump said. “I don’t think the great people of Alabama will disagree with me. Election Fraud must be captured and stopped, or we won’t have a Country anymore. I will be making a new Endorsement in the near future!”
A source close to Brooks confirmed he is staying in the race.
In a lengthy statement Wednesday, Brooks said it was “disappointing that, just like in 2017, President Trump lets Mitch McConnell manipulate him again,” a reference to the Senate Republican leader’s efforts then to oppose Brooks in a Republican Senate primary.
“I have not changed,” Brooks continued, explaining that he is “the only proven America First candidate” in the race, and the only who worked to support Trump’s efforts to overturn the election leading up to Jan. 6.
As Brooks has said in recent weeks, he reiterated that there is no “legal way” to overturn the election now. Brooks also said he has “repeatedly advised President Trump that January 6 was the final election contest verdict,” and that neither the Constitution nor federal law allows him to reverse the results.
“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. This is the way I am. I break my sworn oath for no man.”
Brooks further claimed in his statement that Trump “asked me to rescind the 2020 elections, immediately remove Joe Biden from the White House, immediately put President Trump back in the White House, and hold a new special election for the presidency.”
Brooks, a staunch Trump ally who spoke at the Jan. 6 rally that preceded the Capitol insurrection, won the former president’s endorsement last April to replace retiring Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).
But as Brooks’ Senate campaign has floundered, POLITICO reported last week that Shelby was preparing to pour as much as $6 million into the race by transferring his campaign money into a super PAC supporting Katie Britt, a former Shelby aide who is also running for the Senate seat.
Trump also told the Washington Examiner last week that he was considering reversing his endorsement of the “disappointing” Brooks and instead backing Britt or rival Mike Durant.
On Monday, Trump met with Durant at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida to discuss the race, according to a source with the Durant campaign and a source close to Trump. Durant, a retired Army pilot who survived a helicopter crash in Somalia and was portrayed in the movie “Black Hawk Down,” has led the Republican primary in recent polling.
According to a person with the Durant campaign, “they discussed the Black Hawk Down incident,” and “Trump thought he was a real tough guy.” A spokesperson for Trump declined to comment, pointing to the former president’s statement.
Britt also has met with Trump in recent months, as the former president told others he was souring on Brooks.
Seeking to shore up his standing with Trump, Brooks recently began calling for McConnell, the Senate minority leader, to be ousted as the chamber’s top Republican — a pet cause of the former president.
But those efforts by Brooks were not enough to make up for his remarks in a pair of interviews with Alabama news outlets last week, in which he said Trump was being given “misleading” advice in his ongoing push to overturn the 2020 election.