Members Only | March 25, 2022 | Reading Time: 3 minutes

No, Trump’s toady did not pay a price for standing up to him

The former president isn't a kingmaker. Mo Brooks is a loser.

Mo Brooks.
Mo Brooks.

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On Wednesday, former president Donald Trump withdrew his prior endorsement of one-time ally US Rep. Mo Brooks, who’s running in a special election in Alabama to replace Senator Richard Shelby. 

Trump claimed he rescinded his support because Brooks went “woke” and stopped fighting to overturn the 2020 presidential election. 

Brooks claimed Trump rejected him because he refused to go along with an illegal scheme to overturn the election in the fall of 2021

Alabama pundits have been speculating about when Trump was going to drop the hammer based purely on Brooks’ dismal numbers. The congressman is polling a distant third. 

The Times described Brooks’ allegations as “extraordinary.” 

Brooks’ accusation piqued the curiosity of insurrection-watchers. The Alabama representative was one of Trump’s most devoted sycophants. He was a key ally in his bid to overturn the election on January 6, 2021. 

Brooks was the first member of the Congress to say he’d contest the electoral count. He even donned body armor for a rousing speech at the Ellipse before Trump turned the mob loose on the US Capitol. 

So – maybe – the wounded Brooks was dishing real dirt?

On closer examination, Brooks, who is trailing badly in the polls against his GOP primary opponent, isn’t dishing dirt so much as telling self-aggrandizing tales in order to save face after being dumped. 

“Mo Brooks was a leader on the 2020 Election Fraud and then, all of sudden, during the big rally in Alabama, he went ‘woke’ and decided to drop everything he stood for — when he did, the people of Alabama dropped him, and now I have done so also,” Trump said in a statement.

“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 subsequently claimed. 

Brooks invited the inference that Trump sought Brooks’ legal advice on a serious plan and that Brooks was cast out for refusing to go along. 

Trump often floats crazy ideas. Brooks might have said his beloved “rescission” idea was a non-starter, but it’d be naive to assume this is related to Trump ending Brooks’ political career six months later.

Trump and Brooks disagreed about when to stop litigating false allegations of 2020 election fraud. However, the incident Trump alluded to in his statement took place in August 2021 when Brooks was booed at a rally for telling the crowd they needed to stop trying to overturn the 2020 election and look ahead to future contests. 

Brooks said Trump discussed Trump’s plan to rescind the election after Labor Day. Yet Trump is only withdrawing his support now. 

Poll reveals the real reason Trump dumped his former ally. 

Alabama pundits have been speculating about when Trump was going to drop the hammer based purely on Brooks’ dismal numbers.  

Brooks is polling a distant third. 

Trump endorsed Brooks in April 2021 while Brooks still had a substantial lead. Since that time, Brooks has sunk precipitously. 

The congressman went from 40 percent in August to a mere 16 percent today, a slide Alabama Daily News publisher Todd Stacey called “incredible.” And this three-way race is likely to end in a runoff. 

Even if Brooks made it that far, polling suggests he’d be unlikely to pick up enough support to win. He’s been outspent and out-campaigned. His bid to represent Alabama in the Senate is dead in the water. 

While Trump remains the undisputed leader of the Republican Party and the overwhelming favorite to win the presidential nomination in 2024, a primary endorsement from Trump isn’t the electoral golden ticket it used to be. Trump-endorsed candidates are also struggling in Georgia, North Carolina and Idaho. 

The notion that uber-lacky Mo Brooks was discarded for standing up to Trump is preposterous on its face, but the narrative serves both men’s interests. 

Trump wants to maintain his reputation as a kingmaker within the Republican Party, so admitting that he’s dropping Brooks because he’s losing would defeat the purpose. 

Brooks wants to make it seem like he’s being dropped because he took a principled stand when he’s actually been cast aside because he’s a loser.

Lindsay Beyerstein covers legal affairs, health care and politics for the Editorial Board. An award-winning documentary filmmaker, she’s a judge for the Sidney Hillman Foundation. Find her @beyerstein.

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