Politics

Brooks Accuses McConnell of Having ‘Misled’ Trump on Strange

Alabama Senate candidate reacts to president’s endorsement of rival

Rep. Mo Brooks, shown here at a candidates’ forum last week in Alabama, said he was “baffled” at how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and “the Swamp” misled President Donald Trump into endorsing Sen. Luther Strange, his rival in the Alabama Senate race. {Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks on Wednesday accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of misleading President Donald Trump to endorse Sen. Luther Strange in the Alabama Senate race.

In a statement responding to Trump’s endorsement of his rival a week before the Republican primary, Brooks criticized the president’s decision.

Trump tweeted his endorsement of Strange on Tuesday, saying he has done a “great job” representing Alabama

In his statement Brooks said he respected the president, “but I am baffled and disappointed Mitch McConnell and the Swamp somehow misled the President into endorsing Luther Strange,” Brooks said.

“Perhaps the President is unaware that Luther Strange corruptly and unethically held a criminal investigation over the head of disgraced Governor Bentley to obtain the senate appointment,” Brooks said. 

Strange was appointed by former Gov. Robert Bentley before Bentley resigned after it was revealed he used campaign cash to cover up an extramarital affair. 

At the time, Strange was state attorney general and reportedly told a state House committee to halt its investigation of Bentley, saying his office was investigating the governor.

Bentley later appointed Strange to fill the remainder of then-Sen. Jeff Sessions’ term after Trump chose his as U.S. attorney general.

Brooks also said Strange wants to keep in place the filibuster rule in the Senate “that empowers Chuck Schumer and the Democrats to kill the entire conservative, Republican, and President Trump legislative agendas.”

On Tuesday, Brooks released an ad calling McConnell a “Swamp King” and featuring Brooks standing beside Trump in the Oval Office.

The Alabama Senate primary, which also features former state Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, has turned into a referendum on who is the most pro-Trump candidate.

Internal polling shows Moore leading the race, with Brooks and Strange fighting for the second spot in a probable runoff.

The McConnell-affiliated Senate Leadership Fund has poured money into the race accusing Brooks of not being sufficiently supportive of the president. The ads also accuse him of siding with liberals in Congress.

“The President has bigger things going on than a campaign, that’s for sure,” Brooks said.

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