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Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., talks with the media after voting in Alabama's state primary in Huntsville on May 24, 2022.
Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., talks with the media after voting in Alabama's state primary in Huntsville on May 24, 2022.Vasha Hunt / AP

Brooks defends conservative chops, repeats claim 2020 election was stolen

Former President Donald Trump endorsed, then unendorsed, Brooks' Alabama Senate bid.

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Alabama GOP Rep. Mo Brooks, who is running in Tuesday's Senate primary race, defended his conservative credentials after being endorsed — and then unendorsed — by former President Donald Trump, repeating his claim the 2020 election was stolen from Trump during an interview with MSNBC.

Brooks, who is running against military veteran Mike Durant and former Senate aide Katie Britt, argued that he's been able to stay afloat in his Senate bid despite Trump's decision because of his conservative chops. And he dismissed the idea that the former president's influence has waned in the Republican Party.

"Not at all. No one has 100 percent influence, there are varying degrees of influence in different parts of the country," he told NBC News' Vaughn Hillyard.

"In the state of Alabama, by way of example, in Senate races he's endorsed in, two-out-of-three times, his endorsees have not done well, one-out-of-three times they have done well. We tend to be a pretty independent group in the state of Alabama."

Brooks is one of the five members of Congress who have been subpoenaed by the congressional committee investigating the 2021 attack on the Capitol. The congressman spoke at the rally that preceded the attack on the Capitol, where he asked the crowd if they were "willing to do what it takes to fight for America?" And he told MSNBC in March that Trump had asked him to "rescind" the 2020 election and re-instate him as president as recently as late last year.

Asked about his speech and the subpoena, Brooks repeated his claims about widespread election fraud and argued he was wearing a bulletproof vest during his speech on Jan. 6, 2021 because of concerns about violence by the political left, not the right. And he argued his comments at the rally were not inciting violence, but "talking about the 2022 and 2024 elections" and how Republicans needed to win those contests.