"Trump has proven himself to be dishonest, disloyal, incompetent, crude and a lot of other things that alienate so many independents," Brooks said.
Rep. Mo Brooks, who just two years ago was one of former President Donald Trump
's most ardent congressional supporters, said in a recent interview that it would be a "bad mistake" for the GOP to nominate him as the party's 2024 presidential nominee, while also describing him as "dishonest" and "incompetent."
While speaking with AL.com, Brooks — who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for Senate in Alabama this year and has said he will retire from politics after his term ends in January 2023 — sharply criticized Trump following a midterm election cycle where GOP gains were muted and a conservative-led red wave never materialized on a national level.
"It would be a bad mistake for the Republicans to have Donald Trump
as their nominee in 2024. Donald Trump
has proven himself to be dishonest, disloyal, incompetent, crude and a lot of other things that alienate so many independents and Republicans," Brooks told the publication.
"Even a candidate who campaigns from his basement can beat him," he added, taking a dig at President Joe Biden
's cautionary approach to campaigning during the 2020 election while the COVID
-19 pandemic was at its zenith. "It's just the way it is."
Brooks, who has questioned the integrity of the 2020 presidential results, told AL.com that he was not fighting for Trump after the November 2020 contest, but had spoken up to ensure the security of elections.
"I did not fight for Donald Trump
after the 2020 election," Brooks said. "I fought for election integrity. Donald Trump
just happened to be the beneficiary of it."
After entering the 2022 Senate contest, he was endorsed by Trump.
However, after telling GOP rally attendees in August 2021 that they should look to the future and not focus on the 2020 election, Trump withdrew his endorsement and said his longtime ally had gone "woke."
Brooks tried earnestly to win back Trump's endorsement, but the former president declined to back another candidate.
In the May primary, Brooks came in second place behind attorney and former Senate chief of staff Katie Britt. But ahead of a June runoff election, which was triggered since no candidate exceeded 50% of the vote in the initial vote tally, Trump threw his support behind Britt.
Brooks went on to lose the runoff to Britt, who was easily elected last Tuesday in the Republican-heavy state.
The congressman during the AL.com interview continued in his criticism of Trump.
"Keep in mind 2016 when I said he was dishonest, you cannot trust a single word that he says and I have never recanted that. No question, I am displeased with Donald Trump
. But that does not change the truthfulness of what I say. I challenge anybody to make the argument that you can trust the word of Donald Trump
," he said.
When asked about candidates who could carry the GOP banner in 2024, Brooks said "Ron DeSantis or somebody like him" would be an amenable pick, along with Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky.
"We need someone who is honorable, someone who has good character, someone that the American people respect. They might disagree with, but they respect," Brooks continued to say. "And Ron DeSantis is a fighter for the foundational principles that have combined to make America the greatest nation in world history."