Former President Donald Trump has rescinded his endorsement of Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Alabama) for Senator over the congressman’s decision to focus less on peddling false claims regarding the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
Trump rescinded his endorsement in a statement that was released on Tuesday.
“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,’” Trump said in his statement.
The former president went on to wrongly claim that the 2020 presidential election was “rife with fraud and irregularities,” even though every claim of election fraud has been debunked or deemed unfounded by fact-checkers and judges alike.
“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,” Trump said. “I don’t think the great people of Alabama will disagree with me.”
Trump didn’t rescind his endorsement of Brooks until several months after Brooks’s comments during a political rally last fall — and notably, Trump’s statement comes one day after a new poll showed Brooks behind two other Republicans running in the senatorial primary. It’s possible, then, that Trump decided to rescind his endorsement out of fear that he may have backed the losing candidate. The primary is set to take place in late May.
Trump’s decision to rescind his endorsement of Brooks could also be interpreted as a warning to other Republican candidates – a message that they should keep talk of bogus election fraud alive or else face the consequences from the Republican Party’s de facto leader.
Brooks, a longtime Trump loyalist, spoke onstage with the former president during his “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021, the day that the Electoral College results were certified by Congress. Brooks was the first lawmaker to cast a vote against certifying the election, justifying his vote by citing baseless claims of election fraud.
During that rally, Brooks asked Trump loyalists whether they were “willing to do what it takes to fight for America” following Trump’s election loss to President Joe Biden. Brooks also told members of the crowd, some of whom went on to attack the Capitol that day, to “start taking down names and kicking ass” when it came to the lawmakers who voted in favor of certifying the election.
Despite his continued insistence that the election was stolen, Brooks’s decision to move past rehashing the 2020 election may be out of recognition that Americans are no longer interested in false claims of election fraud. A Morning Consult/Politico poll from February, for example, shows that 64 percent of American voters want the Republican Party to move on from Trump’s claims of fraud, while only 23 percent want the party to continue focusing on the issue.