- Former President Donald Trump withdrew his endorsement of Rep. Mo Brooks in the Republican U.S. Senate primary election in Alabama.
- Trump cited Brooks' call for fellow Republicans to stop obsessing over the 2020 presidential election results as they sought to win races in 2022 and 2024.
- Recent polls show Brooks, who has otherwise expressed ardent loyalty to Trump, is far behind in third place in the primary race to replace retiring Republican Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby.
- Brooks actually has been among the most ardent supporters of Trump's false claims that he lost the election to President Joe Biden only because of widespread ballot fraud.
That's "No Mo" endorsement for him.
Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday withdrew his endorsement of Rep. Mo Brooks in the GOP U.S. Senate primary election in Alabama, bitingly citing Brooks' call for fellow Republicans to stop obsessing over the 2020 presidential election results as they try to win races in 2022 and 2024.
But Trump's move to withdraw the endorsement might have less to do with Brooks' comment — which happened seven full months ago at a Trump rally in Cullman and drew loud boos from the crowd.
Instead, it may have more to do with recent polls showing the 5th District congressman, who has otherwise expressed ardent loyalty to Trump, is far behind in third place in the primary race to replace retiring Republican Sen. Richard Shelby. That primary is set for May 24.
"Mo Brooks of Alabama made a horrible mistake recently when he went 'woke' and stated, referring to the 2020 Presidential Election Scam, 'Put that behind you, put that behind you,' despite the fact that the Election was rife with fraud and irregularities," Trump said in a statement.
That statement included Trump's longstanding false claims that he lost the 2020 election to President Joe Biden only because of widespread ballot fraud in several swing states.
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Brooks actually has been among the most ardent supporters of those false claims. He was involved with plans to challenge the certification of Biden's victory by Congress on Jan. 6, 2021, and gave a fiery speech outside the White House that day at a rally for Trump.
Brooks also was one of more than 140 members of Congress who voted against accepting the results of Biden's win in several states. The Twitter account for his Senate campaign also prominently says "Endorsed by President Trump" in its profile.
Brooks in a statement later Wednesday said that Trump in rescinding the endorsement had been manipulated by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who hopes to regain Republican control in the Senate with this fall's elections.
Trump despises McConnell, whom he refers to as "The Old Crow."
"It's disappointing that, just like in 2017, President Trump lets Mitch McConnell manipulate him again," Brooks said, referring to a GOP Senate primary race that year in which former judge Roy Moore defeated Brooks and incumbent Sen. Luther Strange, who was endorsed by both Trump and McConnell. Moore later lost to Democratic nominee Doug Jones.
"Every single negative TV ad against our campaign has come from McConnell and his allies," Brooks said. "I wish President Trump wouldn't fall for McConnell's ploys, but, once again, he has."
Brooks also said that he has told Trump "the truth knowing full well that it might cause President Trump to rescind his endorsement."
That truth, Brooks said, is that the congressional certification of Biden's win "was the final election contest verdict."
"President 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 said.
"As a lawyer, I've repeatedly advised President Trump that January 6 was the final election contest verdict and neither the U.S. Constitution nor the U.S. Code permit what President Trump asks. Period."
Brooks had 40% of the GOP primary voters in his corner in the race last August, at the time he told a Trump rally to "put that behind you," referring to the 2020 election.
But since then his support has plummeted to 16.1% in the Gray TV/Alabama Daily News poll released Tuesday.
Trump has a well-known aversion to being seen as backing likely losers in elections and explicitly mentioned polling in his announcement. Brooks badly trails businessman Mike Durant and Shelby's former chief of staff Katie Britt in Tuesday's poll.
"When I endorsed Mo Brooks, he took a 44-point lead and was unstoppable," Trump said. "He then hired a new campaign staff who 'brilliantly' convinced him to 'stop talking about the 2020 Election.' He listened to them."
Trump said that Brooks' lead in the polls "totally evaporated all based on his '2020' statement at our massive rally in Cullman."
"When I heard his statement, I said, 'Mo, you just blew the Election, and there's nothing you can do about it,'" Trump said.
"Very sad but, since he decided to go in another direction, so have I, and am hereby withdrawing my endorsement of Mo Brooks for the Senate," he added.
Trump said he would be making a new endorsement in the race.
NBC News later reported Wednesday that Trump met Monday with rival candidate Durant at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, according to two sources familiar with that meeting.
Trump met with the other leading candidate Britt at Mar-a-Lago in February, according to NBC, which reported that one source cautioned that Trump has not made any decision about endorsing either Durant or Britt.
At the Aug. 21 rally for Trump in Cullman, Brooks said, "Godless, evil, amoral, socialist Democrats are on the march."
But the crowd started booing when he said, "There are some people who are despondent about the voter fraud and election theft in 2020. Folks, put that behind you, put that behind you."
"Yes, Look forward, look forward, look forward. Beat them in 2022, beat them in 2024," Brooks said, as the boos began getting louder.
"Well, look back it, but go forward and take advantage of it," he said, in an effort to win back the crowd.
On Wednesday, Brooks said