Mo Brooks defends his position on Trump in Alabama Senate race

Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksOvernight Defense: Senate confirms US military’s first African American service chief | Navy to ban display of Confederate flags | GOP lawmakers urge Trump not to cut troops in Germany Republicans urge Trump to reject slashing US troop presence in Germany Conservative lawmakers press Trump to suspend guest worker programs for a year MORE, the Alabama Republican in the midst of a tough Senate primary battle, is pushing back at an opponent’s accusations that he doesn’t support President Trump.

The new television ad is Brooks’s political response to the drubbing he’s received from Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote GOP senator to try to reverse requirement that Pentagon remove Confederate names from bases No, ‘blue states’ do not bail out ‘red states’ MORE (R-Ky.), whose allied super PAC has dumped millions of dollars on attack ads against Brooks. 

“Luther Strange, he isn’t telling the truth again. I wrote a $2,500 check to help President Trump beat Hillary [Clinton]. And in Congress, I vote with President Trump 95 percent of the time,” Brooks said.

“Who are you going to believe: Mitch McConnell and Luther Strange? Or conservative thought leaders like Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter and Mark Levin? They have all endorsed me for Senate because I support President Trump’s ‘America First’ agenda.” 

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Brooks’s past criticism of Trump during the presidential primary has become a central argument for Strange and the Senate Leadership Fund. 

Strange and the McConnell-allied super PAC point to February 2016 comments that tarred Trump as a “serial adulterer” in a state that voted overwhelmingly for the president in the GOP primary and general election. 

Brooks has sought to brush those arguments aside by arguing that his attacks were part of his support for his original chosen candidate, Texas GOP Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote The Hill’s Morning Report – Trump’s public standing sags after Floyd protests GOP senators introduce resolution opposing calls to defund the police MORE. 

“When I’m in combat, a political fight, I use all weapons at my disposal, as I’m sure all of the candidates do. Once the fight was over with, it was important for our nominee to win the election,” Brooks told The Hill in June. 

But he more recently broke with Trump in an Alabama radio interview, where he defended Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsMcCabe, Rosenstein spar over Russia probe Rosenstein takes fire from Republicans in heated testimony Rosenstein defends Mueller appointment, role on surveillance warrants MORE, whose former seat Strange holds, against criticism from Trump. Brooks also added that many of his previous concerns about Trump are “coming to fruition.”

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Brooks’s new ad represents the first television spot of his campaign where he directly addresses the criticism. His other ads have offered support for Trump but avoided the direct criticism. 

Brooks, Strange and former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore are running to serve out the rest of Sessions’s term in office, which ends in 2020. Strange was appointed in February to serve until the special election. 

If no candidate hits 50 percent on the Aug. 15 primary, a likely outcome, the top two candidates will move on to a runoff on Sept. 26, before the general election in December.

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