Alabama congressman who spoke at 6 January rally again described having to explain to Donald Trump he could not be arbitrarily reinstated as president
Appearing on “Fox News Sunday”, Mr Brooks was interviewed by Sandra Smith, who asked the congressman what Mr Trump had asked him to do after the 2020 election, and why he thought the ex-president had un-endorsed him in his current Senate campaign.
Mr Brooks replied that between last September and the unendorsement, he and Mr Trump had many conversations that revolved around the idea that the ex-president could be reinstated in office and the 2020 election rescinded.
“And I can understand him wanting to do that, OK?” Mr Brooks said. “He was robbed, in my judgment, in 2020, in his judgment he was robbed, and so I can understand that desire. The conflict was when I would explain the law does not allow us to do that.”
As Mr Brooks put it, “what is now done in 2020 is irreversible under the US Constitution and the US Code, and I’m one of those who believes in law and order. I might not like it that that’s the endgame, but that is the endgame.”
However, Mr Brooks lost his grip on this pragmatic stance when Ms Smith pointed out that Mr Trump’s claims of massive electoral fraud in 2020 have never been substantiated with credible evidence.
“Oh no, that’s wrong!” the congressman shouted, throwing up his hands. “I don’t know why you people in the media keep saying that, but that is absolutely false.”
Fox News is facing a $1.6bn defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems, which accuses the network of falsely claiming it helped rig the election. A trial is set for April next year.
Citing the number of congressmen and senators who voted against certifying the election on 6 January even after the Capitol was violently attacked by a horde of Trump supporters, Mr Brooks remarked to Ms Smith that “you haven’t done your homework”.
When she then pointed out that scores of election fraud lawsuits were thrown out of courts across the US because of their paucity of evidence, Mr Brooks demanded a “time out” and insisted on “getting in the last word on this one”.
“The courts are not the final arbiter of who wins a federal election contest,” he said. “Congress is.” He then cited several judges’ opinions as evidence for his arguments, along with the film 2000 Mules, a “documentary” claiming that cellphone data reveals the existence of a massive fraudulent operation to “traffic” illegitimate Biden mail-in votes to drop-off boxes.
Mr Brooks recently advanced to a runoff in Alabama’s Senate primary despite losing Mr Trump’s endorsement, though he continued to use approving Trump quotes and pictures of him on 6 January on campaign mailers posted out through polling day.
Announcing his un-endorsement, Mr Trump cited Mr Brooks’s remarks at a rally where he told supporters to move on from obsessing over the last election and focus on the next contest.
“There are some people who are despondent about the voter fraud and election theft in 2020,” he said at the event last year. “Folks, put that behind you, put that behind you.”
However, Mr Trump’s decision to pull his endorsement may have had more to do with the fact that Mr Brooks was steadily sliding in the polls at the time, raising the prospect he could embarrass the former president – who has since seen several of his top endorsees fall badly short in top-tier races in Georgia and elsewhere.
Mr Brooks’s runoff contest against Katie Britt, who came top in the first round, will be held on 21 June.