Can Donald Trump *really* disapprove of someone?

Eleven months ago, he endorsed Rep. Mo Brooks for the U.S. Senate seat in Alabama vacated by Republican Senator Richard Shelby.

“Few Republicans have as much COURAGE and FIGHT as Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks,” Trump said in the April 2021 endorsement.
That support immediately made Brooks the frontrunner in the GOP primary. “With President Trump’s endorsement, it’s clearly Mo’s race to lose,” former Alabama Republican Representative Bradley Byrne told CNN at the time.

The months that followed suggested that Brooks was well on the way to achieving this.

His fundraising has lagged far behind that of Katie Boyd Britt, Shelby’s former chief of staff. Britt had raised nearly $5 million for her campaign through the end of last year, compared to just over $2 million for Brooks. (And according to Politico, Britt’s former boss is set to transfer significant funds to a super PAC supporting his candidacy.)

Perhaps more importantly for Trump, Brooks — who had aggressively pushed the false notion that the 2020 election had somehow been stolen — is, in the former president’s mind, softened on the issue.

“I’m baffled by the idea that we can do anything now to put Donald Trump in power today,” Brooks said on a local radio show this week.

Add it all up and Trump starts looking for an exit strategy.

Like CNN Gaby Orr reports on Friday:

“While Trump has been seething for several months over Brooks’ lackluster campaign performance, four people familiar with the situation told CNN that he has reached his breaking point and is weighing when and how he might pursue a course correction in the controversial Republican primary. …”

This story followed an interview earlier in the week with The Washington Examiner in which Trump said Brooks was “disappointing.” Trump added: “I’m determining right now, has Mo Brooks – has he changed?”

Trump then tries to frame his second thoughts on Brooks as disagreeing in principle. (“[W]When you endorse someone, you endorse someone based on principle,” he told the Examiner. “If he changed that principle, I would have no problem doing it. “)

But that’s not really what’s happening here. Remember Trump’s first rule: Always be a winner. And its corollary: Always associate yourself with the winners.

Brooks looked like a surefire winner nearly a year ago when Trump endorsed him. He has shown himself to be a mediocre candidate with much less chance of winning since then.

So Trump wants to jump ship. Because that’s what he does.

Point: Loyalty is a one-way street for Trump. He will be faithful to you as long as it makes him feel good. And not a second longer. Sorry, Congressman.




cnn

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