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Trump drops his support for Rep. Mo Brooks in Alabama Senate race

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), speaking on March 22. (Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters)

Former president Donald Trump on Wednesday withdrew his endorsement of Rep. Mo Brooks (R) in the U.S. Senate race in Alabama, accusing the fierce Trump supporter, who spoke at the Jan. 6, 2021 “Stop the Steal” rally, of making a “horrible mistake” by abandoning talk of the 2020 election.

In a statement, Trump said Brooks went “woke” when he suggested focusing on future elections and stopping talk about the former president’s baseless claims of widespread fraud in the last presidential election. Trump cited Brooks’s comment of “put that behind you.”

“Very sad but since he decided to go in another direction, so have I, and I am hereby withdrawing my endorsement of Mo Brooks for the Senate,” said Trump, who promised a new endorsement soon.

In a lengthy response, Brooks made the startling claim that Trump asked him to “rescind” the 2020 election; blamed then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), saying he manipulated Trump, and argued that he was the only conservative in the Senate race.

“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 said Trump fell for McConnell’s “ploys” despite the fact that the former president and top Senate Republican haven’t spoken since December 2020 and Trump repeatedly has derided McConnell, calling him “Old Crow.”

On Monday, Brooks promised to “fire” McConnell if he were elected to the Senate, a vow that failed to sway Trump as he saw the struggling Brooks as a potential loser in his lineup of endorsements.

Brooks, whose Twitter handle was “Endorsed by President Trump,” is a Freedom Caucus firebrand and one of the GOP’s most vocal supporters of overturning the 2020 election results. At the rally on the Ellipse, Brooks told the crowd to “start taking down names and kicking a--.”

Mo Brooks urged a Jan. 6 crowd to "fight." Now his actions long before the insurrection face new scrutiny.

A mob of pro-Trump supporters stormed the Capitol to try to stop the affirmation of Biden’s electoral college win, an attack that resulted in five dead and injuries to 140 members of law enforcement.

Since he announced his candidacy for the seat of retiring Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), Brooks has struggled to win support despite Trump’s initial backing. His most formidable opponent is Katie Britt, a former business association president and former aide to Shelby, a giant in Alabama politics who has told others that he is willing to spend $5 million of his own campaign funds on her election.

Complicating matters further is the late entry of a third candidate, wealthy businessman and celebrity military veteran Mike Durant, who spent $1.2 million on ads since mid-October to introduce himself, according to the ad-tracking firm Medium Buying.

The primary is May 24.