Mo Brooks faces a monstrous climb in Alabama runoff against Trump-backed Katie Britt

Now, on the eve of Tuesday’s runoff, “MAGA Mo” – as he calls himself in campaign literature – is not only running without Trump’s blessing, he is actively running against him. In a June 11 statement, the former president re-entered the heated Alabama GOP Senate primary with fresh endorsement from Brooks rival Katie Britt, who described the 40-year-old former top Capitol Hill aide as “a fearless one.” America First Warrior” described angry allies who had worked hard to position her as a faux conservative and pro-establishment candidate.

“Mo’s fate was sealed the moment that statement hit his inbox,” said a Trump aide, describing the former president’s endorsement of Britt as a “kiss of death” for the six-year-old congressman.

Though Brooks returned to second place in last month’s primary after losing Trump’s support, he faces a monstrous rise to defeat Britt in Tuesday’s runoff. Even his own allies last month criticized his lack of precision, citing his repeated vacillation between praising Trump and harshly criticizing the former president. It was “virtually the same behavior” that irritated Trump during the primaries, a person close to Brooks said.
In fact, Brooks lashed out at Trump in an interview with AL.com last week, claiming he has “loyalty to no one or anything but himself” and has “abandoned the conservative movement and the MAGA agenda to try to bolster the reputation of.” Trump to improve his brand.” Those comments came shortly after he called for Trump’s renewed support in a public letter shared on his Twitter account, which included the former president, who withdrew his endorsement from Brooks in March , likened to “a soccer coach grabbing our face mask and gets us going.”

“Part of me wonders if he also knew that if he got his confirmation, he’d be baiting old Mitch [McConnell] believing we couldn’t win and getting Mitch to stop attacking us,” Brooks said at the time.

In endorsing Britt, Trump acknowledged that Brooks’ repeated calls to look beyond the 2020 election — including several interviews in which he revealed Trump had asked apprehensively about being reinstated as president — sealed his decision.

“His words caused me to withdraw my confirmation, and Mo has wanted it back ever since — but I can’t give it to him!” Trump said, describing Brooks as “awakened” in the 2020 election, despite being the first House Republican to do so vowed to block certification of Joe Biden’s Jan. 6, 2021 win.
Two people familiar with the matter said Trump never considered backing Brooks again because it would have signaled he had made the wrong choice — again. It was hard enough for him to even withdraw his support, said one of those people, noting that Trump complained privately about Brooks for months before finally acting publicly.
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But after recent losses for his recommended candidates in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Idaho, as well as a narrower-than-expected victory for his Senate-elect Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, the former president saw an easy opportunity to improve his record with an endorsement from Britt, despite Concerns among his allies about their conservative credibility.

Prior to Trump’s endorsement of Britt, his spokesman Taylor Budowich said the former president never felt like he was in a tight spot, having failed to endorse Brooks ahead of the May 24 primary, only to see him defeat third-place finisher Mike Durant and advanced to the runoff.

“I don’t know if the president can empathize with cucumbers. He can definitely get out of them,” Budowich said.

Losing his trust in Brooks

While Trump’s endorsement of Britt came as a shock to some Brooks allies, who spent months convincing the former president that she would be a MAGA opponent in the Senate, others took it for a long time.

Because of her low profile with an opponent who has spent more than a decade in Congress, Britt, who served as chief of staff to retired Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby and president of the Alabama Business Council, began working to shape Trump’s opinion of her change early in elementary school.
As previously reported by CNN, Britt and her husband, Wesley Britt, a former NFL player, coordinated a brief meeting with Trump at his August 2021 rally in Cullman, Alabama, where he first got upset with Brooks after the crowd went cold had reacted to the Congressman’s proposal to move beyond the 2020 election. Trump walked away impressed by the encounter with the pair but has already committed to Brooks.

“He was very impressed with Katie and actually frustrated that he hadn’t met her before supporting Mo. He said, ‘You and your husband look like winners and you sound like winners,'” a person who was once close to Trump recalled him saying.

By February, Trump had asked the Britts to meet him in Mar-a-Lago. Though the invite came just days after a Super Bowl party where Trump was discussing the Alabama Senate race with former New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, a longtime pal who coached Britt’s husband, the former was President also deeply frustrated with the state of Brooks’ campaign on this point. He had spoken to Britt twice on the phone since they first met at the Cullman rally and told her as they huddled together at his Palm Beach club that he was open to supporting her campaign in any way .
Mo Brooks finally figured out Donald TrumpMo Brooks finally figured out Donald Trump

He dumped Brooks a month later – citing his regular comments about the need to focus on 2022 and 2024. “Since he decided to go in a different direction, so have I,” Trump said at the time.

Brooks responded by campaigning, spending money he’d mostly been sitting on and bringing in top conservative figures like Texas Senator Ted Cruz to vouch for his MAGA status in the final days before the May primary . While Brooks’ allies said his quick course correction allowed him to finish ahead of Army veteran Mike Durant in the primary, Britt’s strong first place — she took 45% to 29% for Brooks — meant he was bound to face one even greater increase in their tie-breaker.

The person close to Brooks said he hopes Durant, who finished third with 23% after an onslaught of attack ads from Britt-affiliated outside groups, would turn around and encourage his supporters to align behind Brooks in the runoff. Instead, Durant said he would not pick a candidate and has no intention of even voting Tuesday.

“Katie Britt doesn’t deserve to be a Senator. Mo Brooks has been in politics for 40 years and all he does is keep his mouth shut. If that’s the best we have, we’re in trouble,” Durant told 1819 News after his primary loss.

Brooks campaign press secretary Will Hampson told CNN he still believes voters who would have backed Durant in the primary would favor Brooks over his rival, while denying the notion that Brooks was disappointed in Durant’s endorsement not obtainable.

“I think Mr Durant has every right to do what he thinks is right, but I think if his constituents step back they will overwhelmingly recognize that Mo is the Conservative candidate and that is it, which they tend to support,” he said.

Britt as a safe bet

Should Brooks unexpectedly manage an away win with the support of former Durant supporters, Trump allies would be shocked. In part, they say, because of the boost Britt has received from Trump’s endorsement.

“As a first-time nominee who has never run, and now she’s on track to beating a Freedom Caucus nominee who has run multiple times — that says a lot about how voters are reacting here,” said Jim McLaughlin, a former Trump campaign researcher who is close to the 45th President.

While Trump has taken his chances with some endorsements – most recently in a crowded Arizona Senate primary to support tech entrepreneur Blake Masters – advisers said his decision to back Britt falls into a different category. After winning more than 100,000 votes ahead of Brooks in the primary, Trump felt Britt’s endorsement was a safe choice — and a likely win for his scorecard — even if it would anger some of his most staunch allies on Capitol Hill. Brooks was scheduled to attend a tele townhall with Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on Monday night and has previously been endorsed by Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, conservative radio host Mark Levin and Cruz, among others.

“She’s a rising star and could be a popular senator in Alabama,” one of those close to Trump said of Britt. “Trump wants to drown out the noise about (his recent losses in) Georgia and this is one way to do that.”

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