- Trump liked the heated exchange that Mo Brooks had with a Fox News host, according to Politico.
- Brooks, who’s running for the Senate, clashed with Sandra Smith over the 2020 election results.
- Trump pulled his endorsement of Brooks in March, but could potentially throw his weight into the race again.
During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” last week, Rep. Mo Brooks made waves after he tussled with guest host Sandra Smith over the 2020 election results, repeating unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud that have become a rallying cry for the conservative base over the past two years.
Former President Donald Trump, whose consumption of programming on the network was a staple of his White House tenure, also saw the exchange.
And according to Politico, Trump – who endorsed Brooks in this year’s Alabama Senate race only to retract his support in March after the congressman’s campaign suffered from low polling and poor fundraising – liked what he saw in his longtime legislative ally.
Per two individuals with close ties to Trump who spoke with Politico, the former president “was pleased by Brooks’ performance during the exchange.”
Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, took to the pro-Trump social media platform Gettr last week to applaud Brooks.
“Mo Brooks FINALLY GOT THE MEMO !!!!!!,” he wrote in a post.
—Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 29, 2022
Brooks, who was written off by many observers after the Trump snub, eventually saw his candidacy surge after support for former primary rival Mike Durant faltered, which led to him coming in second place in the primary and holding Britt under 50 percent – which triggered a June 21 runoff election.
The reversal in fortune for Brooks represents a bit of a conundrum for Trump, who could potentially re-endorse Brooks in the Senate race, issue an endorsement for Brooks’ runoff election rival Katie Britt, or decline to formally throw his support behind either of the two Republicans.
Also, while Brooks has called for Senate Minority Leader McConnell of Kentucky to be replaced as the upper chamber’s Republican leader, Britt is the preferred candidate of McConnell – with whom Trump has been feuding publicly since the aftermath of January 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol.
Trump himself spent much of last year working behind the scenes to oust McConnell as GOP leader, per The Wall Street Journal.
Jon Gray, a Republican strategist in Alabama, told Politico that there was little incentive for Trump to jump back into the endorsement game for the Senate race at this point – adding that the former president’s influence would have been more beneficial if he had backed another candidate after ditching Brooks.
“I don’t see any upside to him getting in, honestly,” he told the news outlet. “I do think, though, there is this recollection of Mo having been with the president in the past, and his policies.”
However, an individual close to Trump told Politico that the former president is unlikely to look the other way regarding the Alabama race, telling the outlet that he could point to a potential re-endorsement of Brooks as having “taught him a lesson.”
“Mo got straight and has been very strong since” regarding the 2020 election, said the individual.
Trump has continued to propagate allegations of mass fraud in the contest against now-President Joe Biden, but his campaign team was unable to prove any of the major claims in court.