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Trump flip flops on criticism of Senate candidate Katie Britt, offers endorsement

Election 2022 Alabama Senate
Butch Dill/AP
FR111446 AP
FILE - Republican U.S. Senate candidate Katie Britt talks to supporters during her watch party May 24, 2022, in Montgomery, Ala. Former President Donald Trump on Friday, June 10, endorsed Britt, doubling down on his decision to spurn his previous choice in the Republican primary. Britt and Mo Brooks face off in the June 21 runoff that will decide the Republican nominee. (Photo/Butch Dill, FIle)

A year ago, former President Donald Trump called Alabama U.S. Senate hopeful Katie Britt the “assistant” to “RINO” Senator Richard Shelby, and not what voters want. RINO being short for “Republican in name only.”

What a difference a year, and political losses in Georgia, appear to make.

AL.com notes it was within hours of news that Britt had surged in the polls ahead of her runoff opponent, Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks, that Trump reversed his earlier criticism, and endorsed Britt to replace retiring U.S. Senator Richard Shelby. The former President originally supported Brooks, until the relationship soured.

Brooks also remains under subpoena by the U.S. House Committee investigating the January sixth insurrection at the Capitol. The panel began its public hearings this, which Alabama Public Radio covered live. The proceedings focused on Trump’s alleged involvement in the attack.

Britt did a reversal of her own following Trump’s endorsement. After the former President rejected her bid for the Senate in 2021, the newcomer political candidate responded that she didn’t need anyone’s help and that she wouldn’t be anyone’s “rubber stamp.” That position has changed as well, with Britt welcoming Trump’s endorsement late in the campaign.

That appears to leave several questions unanswered.

Does Trump really like Britt, or really dislike Mo Brooks? Or is this eleventh hour endorsement the result of primary losses for the candidates he supported in Georgia’s GOP primary. Voters in Georgia rejected Trump’s efforts to unseat the state’s Republican Governor and Secretary of State, both of whom rebuffed his extraordinary pressure to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. The AP is raising questions on whether Republican voters are beginning to move on from Trump, and a possible second White House run.

Neither Brooks nor Britt won enough votes to win the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate outright during last month’s primary, which prompted the upcoming runoff. Shelby currently holds the powerful chairmanship of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee. It remains uncertain that the winner of his seat will get that position. APR's Caroline Vincent looked into what life Alabama may be like after Shelby's departure. You can hear that story again by clicking below.

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