Far-right Congressman Mo Brooks of Alabama generated heavy backlash on January 6 of last year after addressing supporters of then-President Donald Trump ahead of the joint session of Congress certifying then-President-elect Joe Biden's 2020 election victory.
Brooks repeated Trump's lies that the 2020 election was "stolen" by Democrats, and urged the crowd to "start taking down names and kicking ass!" Just hours later, many of those same supporters would join the deadly failed insurrection against the United States Capitol. Brooks would eventually be sued in a civil case by some of his Democratic colleagues for inciting the riot, though that suit was recently dismissed by a federal judge.
Though the speech was a major source of controversy, Brooks—who is running for an open U.S. Senate seat in Alabama—is now touting the moment after fresh criticisms from Trump.
Trump endorsed Brooks in the Alabama Senate race, but expressed regret over Brooks' performance so far, telling the Washington Examiner in a recent interview:
“Mo Brooks is disappointing. ... It’s a very tight race between the three of them right now, and I’m not particularly happy."
Trump went on to cite comments Brooks made at a rally Trump attended last year, in which Brooks told supporters to look forward, not backward at the 2020 election, which Trump took to be Brooks' dismissal of the lie that the 2020 election was stolen.
Though Brooks frequently promoted the big lie, that one rally comment has Trump reconsidering his endorsement all together, telling the Examiner:
“I’m disappointed that [Brooks] gave an inarticulate answer, and I’ll have to find out what he means. If it meant what he sounded like, I would have no problem changing [my endorsement] because when you endorse somebody, you endorse somebody based on principle. If he changed that principle, I would have no problem doing that.”
According to US News, Brooks' campaign is blaming one of his primary opponents, businesswoman Katie Britt, claiming she "put out a bogus poll, then lied to President Trump about it."
Brooks has since released an ad slamming Britt and highlighting his speech ahead of the Capitol riot.
Brooks tells the viewer:
"On January 6, I proudly stood with President Trump in the fight against voter fraud."
Social media users responded to the ad by mocking Brooks for falling out of Trump's good graces.
Others were stunned to see Brooks touting his role in an event most candidates would downplay.
With the Alabama primary election occurring in late May, Trump still has a few weeks to change his endorsement.