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

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

Mo Brooks tried everything to win back Donald Trump’s endorsement after his calls to move past the 2020 election cost him the former President’s support this spring, but nothing seemed to work.

Now, on the eve of Tuesday’s runoff contest, “MAGA Mo” — as he refers to himself in campaign literature — is not just running without Trump’s blessing, he’s actively running against him. In a June 11 statement, the former President reentered the heated GOP Senate primary in Alabama with a fresh endorsement of Brooks’ rival, Katie Britt, describing the 40-year-old former top Capitol Hill aide as “a fearless America First Warrior” and infuriating allies who had worked hard to cast her as a faux conservative and establishment-friendly candidate.

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

Despite rebounding to a second-place finish in last month’s primary after losing Trump’s support, Brooks is facing a monstrous uphill climb to defeat Britt in Tuesday’s runoff. Even his own allies have criticized his lack of precision over the past month, pointing to his repeated vacillation between praise of Trump and sharp criticism of the former President. It’s been “virtually the same behavior” that had irritated Trump during the primary, said one person close to Brooks.

Indeed, Brooks lashed out at Trump in an interview with last week, suggesting he “has no loyalty to anyone or anything but himself” and had “abandoned the conservative movement and the MAGA agenda in order to try to improve the reputation of his brand.” Those comments came shortly after he had pleaded for Trump’s re-endorsement in a public letter shared to his Twitter account which, among other things, likened the former President withdrawing his endorsement from Brooks in March to “a football coach, grabbing us by the face mask and getting us in gear.”

“Part of me wonders if he also knew that in pulling his endorsement, he’d bait ol’ Mitch [McConnell] into thinking we couldn’t win and get Mitch to stop attacking us,” Brooks said at the time.

In his endorsement of Britt, Trump acknowledged that Brooks’ repeated calls to look beyond the 2020 election — including multiple interviews in which he revealed that Trump had asked concerningly whether he could be reinstated as President — sealed his decision.

“His words caused me to withdraw my Endorsement, and Mo has been wanting it back ever since — but I cannot give it to him!” Trump said, describing Brooks as “woke” on the 2020 election, even though he was the first House Republican who vowed to block certification of Joe Biden’s victory on January 6, 2021.

Two people familiar with the matter said Trump never once considered re-endorsing Brooks because it would have signaled that he made the wrong choice — again. It was difficult enough for him to withdraw his support in the first place, one of these people said, noting that Trump had complained privately about Brooks for months before he finally acted publicly.

But after recent losses for his endorsed picks in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Idaho, plus a narrower-than-expected victory for his chosen Senate candidate Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, the former President saw an easy opportunity to pad his record with an endorsement of Britt, despite concerns among his allies about her conservative bona fides.

Prior to Trump’s endorsement of Britt, his spokesman Taylor Budowich said the former President never felt he was in a difficult spot after un-endorsing Brooks before the May 24 primary only to see him defeat third-place finisher Mike Durant and advance to the runoff.

“I don’t know that the President can get himself into pickles. He can definitely get himself out of them,” Budowich said.

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