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There aren’t many constants when it comes to Donald Trump. He’s as flexible a politician as this nation has seen in a good while, willing to swap allegiances at a whim and to reverse himself at a whiff of weakness. It’s why, in one secret recording, his own sister declared, “You can’t trust him.”
And, yet, for almost eight years, Republicans looking to get a piece of the Trump action have set aside that undeniable fact, thinking that they’d be the exception to the rule. And time and time again, they’ve been burned. Outside Trump’s immediate family, loyalty is a commodity that sees its market rate revalued on the regular. The faintest hint of LoserIt is enough to make the former President race in the opposite direction. Ask the three men who were his commander over the five turbulent months of 2016, the battlefield of Cabinet members and aides he lost, or any lawmakers who had been critical of him. They now have to face the vengeful efforts of Mr. Trump to remove them from office.
Now, even the first member of Congress to vote against certifying the results of the 2020 elections on Jan. 6, 2021, is getting reminded of Trump’s intolerance for anything but what he has scripted in his political reality show. Plus, he is intolerance of losing.
Rep. Mo Brooks—about as Trumpy a figure as you’ll find in Washington—on Wednesday had his Trump endorsement withdrawn as he pursues the Republican nomination for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama.
Brooks’ sin? Telling Trump—and the public—there was no legal pathway to reinstate Trump immediately as President and discard Joe Biden. That’s right: Trump is still pursuing an unrealistic strategy of setting aside the 2020 results right now and simply moving back into the White House as though he won. He did not win, but that is what we need to know.
Ironically, Brooks attempted to stop certification of Biden’s 2020 election results on Jan. 6, last year. Brooks addressed the Jan. 6 rally, which preceded the violence that took place at the Capitol. Brooks claimed that Brooks had been upbeat by the events, a claim Brooks denies. Brooks said he was upset by the Capitol destruction. He claims that intruders destroyed many months worth of evidence to prove Trump’s victory. Despite the failed insurrection by Trump supporters—and the first siege of the U.S. Capitol since 1814—lawmakers returned to their workplace across shards of glass and the sting of chemicals in the air and certified Biden the winner. Biden assumed office 14 days later while Trump went to Washington, leaving behind any words for the new First Family.
Trump, despite the fact that even Brooks’ most committed followers have made progress in their lives, hasn’t. “Mo Brooks of Alabama made a horrible mistake recently when he went “woke” and stated, referring to the 2020 Presidential Election Scam, “Put that behind you, put that behind you,” despite the fact that the Election was rife with fraud and irregularities,” Trump said in a statement. Brooks claimed that Trump had been pressing Brooks for weeks to decertify the 2020 results and remove Biden. He also requested that a special election be held in order to complete the remainder of the current presidential term. It is unprecedented. It’s impossible, and possibly illegal.
But perhaps Brooks’ real sin? Failure to get traction. Trump can be very proud of his endorsement track. Trump taps are like receiving a crown. It’s not an exaggeration when Trump’s team brags that it’s the most powerful endorsement in politics. It’s usually enough to slay anyone who doesn’t get the MAGA blessing. But Brooks—campaigning as “MAGA Mo”—didn’t quite win over Republican voters in Alabama, perhaps because in recent months he’s been telling his audiences that the Republican Party needs to look to the future, not the past. The latest poll shows both of Brooks’ challengers with a double-digit lead over him. “When I endorsed Mo Brooks, he took a 44-point lead and was unstoppable,” Trump said in a statement. Then according to Trump, when Brooks started talking about moving on from 2020, his “lead totally evaporated.” Trump continued: “I said, ‘Mo, you just blew the Election, and there’s nothing you can do about it.’ Very sad but, since he decided to go in another direction, so have I.”
Trump took it as a compliment, believing he had won 2020. Trump feels cheated and aggrieved. Trump is a vengeful man who will not allow anyone to live in the shadow of his aura. As a reminder of how petulant Trump can be when he’s feeling insulted, he put out the withdrawal of the endorsement to his list of reporters without calling Brooks first.
Trump also has options for endorsement in the state. He can choose to support a Shelby former chief of staff, who runs a state-run business group. Black Hawk DownSomalia 1993: A pilot was fatally shot in the sky. Trump and Brooks have met within the last month. Brooks raised more than Brooks’, but Trump is open to meeting with either Brooks or Trump.
If all of this feels chaotic, that’s probably the right assessment. Trump tweeted his firing of Cabinet Secretaries and pitted his aides against each other. He has been vicious to even his most loyal aides when he feels let down and lashes out at anyone who doesn’t fall in line. It’s even worse if those who speak up can’t guarantee Trump bragging rights.
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