(The Hill) — Former President Donald Trump has pulled an endorsement of Rep. Mo Brooks in this year’s Alabama Senate primary, slamming the Republican as “woke” and disloyal to him for doubting his claims about the 2020 presidential election.
“When I endorsed Mo Brooks, he took a 44-point lead and was unstoppable. He then hired a new campaign staff who ‘brilliantly’ convinced him to ‘stop talking about the 2020 Election,'” Trump said in a statement issued on Wednesday morning.
“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. 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.”
Trump had been mulling withdrawing his backing of Brooks for some time and has reportedly met with other candidates in the Republican primary, including Katie Britt, a former aide to retiring Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)
The former president had also spoken out about remarks from Brooks at a rally last year encouraging people to move on from the 2020 election, which Trump has said, without evidence, was subject to election fraud.
“I’m disappointed that he gave an inarticulate answer, and I’ll have to find out what he means,” the former president said of Brooks last week, noting that if the Alabama lawmaker “meant what he sounded like,” Trump would have “no problem” walking back his endorsement.
In his Wednesday statement, Trump again referenced those remarks, saying Brooks “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.’”
In a digital advertisement from earlier this week, Brooks had also pledged to support removing Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) from his role as GOP leader, in what was seen by many as an attempt to appeal to Trump, who has long had a tenuous relationship with McConnell.
“Today, I unveil my pledge to America to fire Mitch McConnell,” Brooks said. “America can’t afford a Senate leader who is a weak-kneed, debt junkie, open-border RINO Republican, and who, worse yet, sells out America for special interest group cash,” Brooks said, using an acronym for “Republican in name only.”