Trump makes Friday night endorsement of Republican he had declared ‘not in any way qualified’
Donald Trump. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

Former President Donald Trump announced a major endorsement on Friday that marks a dramatic reversal of his views on an open Senate race.

After GOP Sen. Richard Shelby, first elected in 1986 as a Democrat before switching parties in 1994, announced his retirement, Trump endorsed Rep. Mo Brooks against Katie Britt, who served as Shelby's chief of staff.

"I see that the RINO Senator from Alabama, close friend of Old Crow Mitch McConnell, Richard Shelby, is pushing hard to have his “assistant” fight the great Mo Brooks for his Senate seat," Trump said in a July 2021 statement.

"She is not in any way qualified and is certainly not what our Country needs or not what Alabama wants. For Mitch McConnell to be wasting money on her campaign is absolutely outrageous. Vote for Mo Brooks!" Trump urged. "He stands for America First, and everything Alabama wants. He also has my Complete and Total Endorsement."

But in March, Trump un-endorsed Brooks.

And on Friday, Trump endorsed Britt shortly before 10 p.m. in Mar-a-Lago.

"Last year I endorsed Mo Brooks for the U.S. Senate because I thought he was a Fighter, especially when it came to the Rigged and Stolen Presidential Election of 2020. The evidence is irrefutable," Trump falsely claimed. "Then, out of nowhere, and for seemingly no reason, Mo backtracked and made a big mistake by going Woke at our massive Cullman, Alabama Rally. Instead of denouncing the Voter Fraud in the Election, Mo lectured the crowd of 63,000 people saying, “Put that behind you, put that behind you,” meaning that, in effect, forget the Rigged Election and go on to the future."

"Mo was strongly booed by tens of thousands of Great Alabama Patriots for abandoning his constituents, and what they know to be true about the Election Fraud. He foolishly started listening to the wrong consultants and not to the people, and his 54-point lead evaporated overnight. Likewise, his words caused me to withdraw my Endorsement, and Mo has been wanting it back ever since—but I cannot give it to him!"

Trump then went on to praise the candidate he called unqualified less than a year earlier.

"Katie Britt, on the other hand, is a fearless America First Warrior. The opposition says Katie is close to Mitch McConnell, but actually, she is not—in fact, she believes that McConnell put Mike Durant in the race to stop her, which is very possibly true," Trump said. "Above all, Katie Britt will never let you down. So Get Out and Vote for Katie Britt on June 21st in the Alabama Senate Runoff—she has my Complete and Total Endorsement!"

Britt praised the endorsement on Trump's Truth Social.

"In the Senate, I will fight to defend Alabama’s Christian conservative values, advance the America First agenda, and preserve the American Dream for generations to come," Britt posted.

Watch the speech that drew Trump's ire:

Mo Brooks tells Trump rally to put 2020 election 'behind you'