Alabama GOP Rep. Mo Brooks was the first and loudest supporter of former President Trump’s attempts to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 election. Now, the former president is returning the favor.
Trump endorsed Brooks’ Senate bid on Wednesday morning, throwing his considerable weight behind the congressman.
“Few Republicans have as much COURAGE and FIGHT as Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks,” Trump said in a capitalization-heavy statement. “Mo Brooks has my Complete and Total Endorsement for the U.S. Senate representing the Great State of Alabama. He will never let you down!”
Trump made it clear Brooks’ support of his election lies played a key role in the endorsement, thanking Brooks for “fighting for voter integrity (like few others)” in his statement.
Brooks has been one of Trump’s loudest and most loyal henchmen when it comes to lying about the results of the 2020 election, and he led the charge to block the certification of President Biden’s election victory.
He was the first member of Congress who promised to object to Congress certifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory, claiming the election was “stolen by the socialists,” and he helped lead the “Stop the Steal” movement, which inspired pro-Trump protesters to attack the Capitol on Jan. 6. He was one of four congressmen who huddled with Trump in December to plot a legislative attempt at rejecting the election results. Had that move been successful, it could have caused a constitutional crisis.
On January 6, Brooks revved up the pro-Trump crowd that was there to protest the election certification by telling them “today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.” He later denied he meant that literally or was advocating violence.
The head of the actual Stop the Steal movement, Ali Alexander, said that Brooks was one of three congressmen who’d helped him plan the Jan. 6 rally. “We four schemed up putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting,” he said in a video. Brooks later denied that he’d ever been in touch with Alexander.
But after that crowd attacked the Capitol, Brooks claimed it was really left-wing antifa protesters, not the people he’d riled up—even as he continued to push for Congress to reject the certification of Biden’s election victories in a number of states in a blatant attempt to subvert the election.
Brooks hasn’t backed off since, declaring in his campaign kickoff speech that the 2020 election saw the “worst voter fraud and election theft in history.”
Brooks already looked like the front-runner to replace retiring Republican Sen. Richard Shelby. But this endorsement gives him a massive leg up over primary rival Lynda Blanchard, who served as Trump’s ambassador to Slovenia, and could scare off Alabama Republican Secretary of State John Merrill, another Trump supporter who was considering a bid.
Brooks wasn’t always a Trump fan—he refused to endorse him in 2016, calling him a “notorious flip-flopper” and a serial adulterer. That hurt him in his 2017 Senate bid, when then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s allies carpet-bombed Brooks’ campaign with ads highlighting his criticism of Trump.
But that won’t happen this time.
In Alabama, winning the GOP primary is almost always tantamount to winning the general election—which means Trump might have just rewarded one of his loudest election-lie loyalists with a seat in the U.S. Senate.