Brooks leans into the ‘Big Lie’ in Republican Senate runoff

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Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., speaks with reporters hours after former President Donald Trump rescinded his endorsement of Brooks in Alabama's Republican primary for Senate, dealing a major blow to the congressman's campaign, Wednesday, March 23, 2022 in Hueytown, Ala. (AP Photo/Kimberly Chandler)

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., speaks with reporters hours after former President Donald Trump rescinded his endorsement of Brooks in Alabama's Republican primary for Senate, dealing a major blow to the congressman's campaign, Wednesday, March 23, 2022 in Hueytown, Ala.

Kimberly Chandler, AP Photo

U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks has had many titles in front of his name. They include state representative, district attorney and county commissioner. He currently represents Alabama’s 5th Congressional District. The North Alabama representative wants to add U.S. Senator to that list. He’s in a runoff on June 21 against Katie Britt for the Republican nomination for Senate.

Brooks has campaigned on issues such as gun rights and illegal immigration. He’s also a strident supporter of former President Donald Trump and insisted the 2020 election was stolen, which has become known as the “Big Lie.” While Trump initially endorsed Brooks, he has since pulled that support.

WBHM invited both candidates in the runoff for interviews. Britt’s campaign has yet to respond. Below is a transcript of the conversation between Brooks and WBHM’s Andrew Yeager.

I wanted to ask about a statement that your campaign put out earlier this week, and it was out on Twitter as well. You asked your opponent or challenged your opponent, Katie Britt, to debate two questions. First one, was the 2020 election stolen? And two, did Donald Trump win or not? You said the answer to both is yes. What proof do you have that the 2020 election was stolen?

How long do you want this interview to be?

I want some proof that the election was stolen.

We could talk hours. Okay.

Give me the highlights.

First, you go to the Commission on Federal Election Reform Report of 2005. It’s a bipartisan commission headed up by Jimmy Carter on the Democrat side. Ronald Reagan White House Chief of Staff James Baker on the Republican side. Their task was to discern the systemic flaws in our election system in order to make recommendations. The number one source of voter fraud, according to the Commission on Federal Election Reform Report of 2005, is the mass mail out of ballots. Any time you have mass mail out of ballots, then you have suspect election results because you don’t have a good chain of custody of those ballots.

Say, for example, if you vote here in Alabama, you go to a precinct, you show your photo I.D. to the poll worker. The poll worker looks on the list to make sure that name is on there as a registered voter, looks at the photograph to make sure that you are who you say you are, then we’ll hand you a ballot. You take that ballot, you go to a cubicle, you vote in a secret environment. Then you still got that ballot in your hands and you take it to the voting machine and you either insert it yourself or a poll worker there inserts it for you. That’s called good chain of custody. When you had the mass mail out of ballots, you don’t have that good chain of custody and you don’t know who is casting that ballot. You have some safeguards, but they’re not foolproof. That is a very big problem and the Commission on Federal Election Reform said “stop it” because there’s so much fraud that is involved in that particular process.

In 2020, we had tens of millions of ballots that were cast like that, putting a lot of suspicion into a lot of the reported election results. And that was in violation of not only the Commission on Federal Election Reforms’ recommendations, but in some states that was also in violation of the United States Constitution, making those ballots cast unconstitutional because Article one, Section four of the United States Constitution, referred to as the election clause, says that legislatures and Congress are empowered to make laws relating to the, quote, times, places and manner, end quote, of elections.

So by way of example, in Georgia, when they shifted to the number one worst way to cast ballots, this mass mail out of ballots, that decision was made by the secretary of state. He’s not a member of Congress or of a state legislature. That decision was made by a judge. That judge is not a member of the legislature or the United States Congress. So those ballots were cast in violation of the United States Constitution. That’s one problem in the election system in 2020.

Another one is, in my judgment, based on federal government data and various studies, anywhere from 800,000 to 1.7 million non-citizens voted in the 2020 election. Now, non-citizens should not be voting in our election. Part of the problem is you’ve got the National Voter Registration Act, section five, that makes it illegal for our voter registrars to require proof of citizenship before someone registers to vote. Now, if you’ve got a non-citizen who is demanding to be registered to vote and you’ve hamstrung the voter registrar where that voter registrar cannot require proof of citizenship, then obviously we’ve got a major problem with non-citizens voting in American elections.

According to the Government Accountability Office, this is a study that they did of non-citizens registered to vote back before 2005 and in the 2000, 2005 time frame in some parts of the United States as much as 3% of the registered voters are non-citizens. It’s probably worse now, but that’s what it was back in 2000 and 2005. If you look at other studies, though, studies have concluded that non-citizens overwhelmingly vote for Joe Biden, the Democrat, rather than a Republican who happened to be Donald Trump in the year 2020. And they gave percentages. And so that gives you a pretty good idea as to how many votes Joe Biden gained because of non-citizens voting.

And let me also emphasize that Joe Biden made a specific plea for these non-citizens to vote for him by offering them the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. If you recall the November, excuse me, October, Nashville presidential debates, Joe Biden went out of his way to make sure that non-citizens knew that if he was elected president, he was going to be in favor of amnesty and citizenship for these illegal aliens around the country. That is the number one goal of that group of non-citizens who are illegally registered to vote in the United States of America.

I want to pick up on a few points that you said. You started by talking about the chain of custody and that this was an opportunity, you said suspicious. This was an opportunity for fraud. How do you know that fraud actually occurred? And similarly…

Well the ballots are illegal on their face because they violate Article one, Section four of the United States Constitution. So they should not have been counted.

And that’s based on the fact that that decision was not made by a legislator or Congress. Is that correct?

By a legislature or the United States Congress, which is, those are the only two entities authorized in the United States Constitution to make laws relating to the, quote, times, places and manner, end quote, of elections.

So in thinking about the state of Alabama, where in 2020 we had changes to our election here and how absentee ballots were handled. You know, those changes came from the governor’s office. They came from the secretary of state’s office, neither of whom are members of Congress or the legislature. Did we vote illegally in Alabama in 2020?

If there are ballots that were cast in violation of Article one, Section four of the United States Constitution, then the answer would have to be yes, because ballots that are cast in an unconstitutional form are, per se illegal. Now, I don’t know the specifics of what you are talking about, so I’m not able to address the specific nature of those ballots that you say were cast illegally.

I’m not saying they were cast illegally.

Well, you said they’re cast in violation of the United States Constitution, which I infer means illegally.

I’m asking if they were. That’s my question. Because the changes that were made to the rules around Alabama’s election in 2020 particularly absentee ballots…

If it relates to time, places and manner of the election, then they are unconstitutional. If they are not in conformity with the laws of the United States Congress and or the laws of the state legislature as passed by the state legislature. So I can’t go into the specific details of those because I don’t know the specific details. I don’t know if you’re right when you say that they were unilateral changes made by the secretary of state or made by the governor of the state. I can’t address that. I haven’t studied that particular issue.

Well, one other thing before we move on. You note these studies that lay out numbers of people who are here illegally who are registered to vote. How do you know that they actually voted? Simply because you’ve registered to vote doesn’t mean you’ve actually cast a ballot.

Because of the past information. By way of example, the Commission on Federal Election Reform report again gave specific examples of numbers of non-citizens who are participating in various elections around the country. And I didn’t conduct that study myself. They did. In 2005. It was a bipartisan commission. I know of no reason to doubt their report. There certainly was no partisan reason for the Commission on Federal Election Reform to slant it one way or the other. There was no major election contest in 2005. So I tend to trust the nature of their report.

And when you say participated, do you mean actually voted?

Yes. They gave numbers of individuals who voted in various elections illegally. And again, there are other studies that indicate that those people with those characteristics that are voting illegally overwhelmingly vote Democrat, and that can very easily skewer the outcome of an election.

I want to ask about a moment last summer. President Trump was here in Alabama in Cullman County. You were on stage with him and you urged the crowd to put the 2020 election to behind them. Look forward to the upcoming election cycles.

It’s a little bit different than the way you’re saying it, but some people interpreted it the way you’re saying.

Well, the wording was put the 2020 election behind you. Look forward, look forward. Look to 2022. Looked to 2024.

Have you ever played sports?

Well, my question is that drew boos from the crowd.

Have you ever played sports?

Do you feel that the 2020 election should be put behind us?

Have you ever played sports?

Well, I’m asking this question first.

I know, but I’m asking you if you’ve ever played sports.

Can you answer my question first?

You don’t want to tell me if you haven’t played sports before?

I want to know if you still feel what you expressed last summer.

I’m surprised that you won’t admit whether you’ve ever played sports before or not. That is really puzzling and baffling to me. So this part probably will not get in what you actually broadcast. But I have played sports and one of the first things that a coach tells you when an umpire makes a bad call or a referee makes a bad call is to put that last play behind you. Don’t get mad about it. Don’t let it affect your next play that you have to focus on in order to do it right. Okay.

The elections as of August of 2020 were over with. There is no appeal, right? There is no way to reverse the election fraud. An activity of that nature that occurred in 2020, according the United States Constitution, the United States Code, the deadline is January the six of 2021. That’s when Congress has to render a verdict on that election contest and which side to rule in favor of. So at that point in time, what we needed to do was to look forward to the 2022 and 2024 elections, because that’s the next pitch. That’s the next play of the football game. That’s the next shot from the three-point line in the basketball game. And you can keep in mind what happened in 2020 as a motivation to make sure that you win in 2022 and 2024. That’s a positive reason to remember the election theft activities of 2020 so that we can muster the advantages that we need in the House and the Senate, in Congress, in the various legislatures around the country, in order to ensure that from here on out, we have election laws that are going to maximize the accuracy of those election laws.

Now there’s a House committee that’s investigating the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. It’s holding public hearings this month. And the panel has issued a subpoena for you to testify after you declined to speak with them voluntarily.

Well, I don’t know that they’ve issued one or not. That’s what you folks in the media say.

Well, in the past, you said that you would fight a subpoena. Is that still the case?

Well, it depends on the circumstances. But I need to see a subpoena. I haven’t been served with a subpoena, so I don’t know what’s in it. If the subpoena is of the right kind, then I’d be inclined to comply with it. If it’s the wrong kind, and the law says that I have the right to object to some of the provisions in the subpoena, then I would be inclined to object to it.

My basic requirements are pretty simple. One, it has to be in public. No more of these secret clandestine meetings and interviews about the public’s business. The public should have every right to see everything that a witness testifies to in front of this witch hunt, lynch mob, propaganda committee, whatever you want to call it. So that’s number one requirement. It has to be done in public. No more of these little leaks that may not be anywhere near what the truth is about the nature of the testimony of any particular witness.

Number two, it has to be limited to the January six subject matter. Number three, if they want to take up the time of a congressman, if it’s that important, then by golly, a congressman on the other side of the fence needs to be there asking the questions. Not some underling, but an honest-to-goodness congressman. If it’s worth my time, it’s worth their time. And there is another requirement, and that is it cannot interfere with this Senate race that I’m involved in.

And the final requirement, which is one of those that some of the other congressmen have insisted on is, this was long time ago. You’re talking a year and a half ago. If they’re going to ask me questions about a particular document, fine. But let me see the document beforehand so I can review it and be better prepared for an honest response. Having had the opportunity to refresh my recollection.

I want to ask about a speech that you gave at a pro-Trump rally the morning of January 6th. Now, much has been made about your comments of “taking down names and kicking ass.”

Do you know who I was referring to?

Who were you referring to?

Republicans.

Okay. But I actually want to ask about what you said next. And I’m quoting here, you said, “Our ancestors sacrificed their blood, their sweat, their tears, their fortunes and sometimes their lives to give us, their descendants, an America that is the greatest nation in the world.”

And then you asked the crowd if they were willing to do the same thing. And you said your answer is “yes.” And I just want to clarify. With the words of sacrificing blood and possibly their lives, were calling for people to engage in some sort of conflict where people would be killed?

Absolutely not. Although I understand that’s the kind of thought that you try to put in listeners’ minds. But there is a federal judge who is appointed by Barack Obama who has looked at all of the evidence and all of the law and the fake frivolous Eric Swalwell lawsuit against me. And that federal judge, having looked at all of the evidence and all the law entered an order dismissing me from that case, because as he said it, there was no plausible argument that could be advanced that my motivation or the effect of what I said had anything to do with what you just suggested. You ought to apologize on air for that.

So here’s my question. By talking about asking the crowd if they were willing do the same as the ancestors, which included sacrificing their lives, blood being spilled. What were you suggesting?

A federal judge appointed by Barack Obama has already looked at that entire speech and looked at the context of the speech and looked at all the other evidence and dismissed outright Eric Swalwell’s lawsuit against me.

And I’m not asking about Eric Swalwell’s lawsuit. I’m asking…

Well, you’re suggesting that you’re smarter than a federal judge who’s looked at all the evidence. You shouldn’t suggest that.

I’m trying to understand what you were saying.

Well, look at the federal judge’s order, and you will be able to discern it. Basically, I’m appealing to people’s patriotism for them to understand and respect the sacrifices that Americans have made over the centuries. In order to ensure that we have a republic, that we have the rights that are guaranteed in the Bill of Rights and the United States Constitution. I want everybody to understand the sacrifices that have made been made before us. And if you look at the concluding request by me of the people who are in that audience, something you, for whatever reason, chosen not to read. The only thing I asked anyone to do was to take the time to go to the United States Capitol and chant the words USA.

It’s been reported that you were wearing a bulletproof vest during that speech. Is that is that actually the case?

Yes.

Why?

Because I had received suggestions from my office staff who had in turn had received suggestions from, I infer, Capitol Police. And I had also received some information from other congressmen that there were liberal elements that were at risk of causing the kind of troubles that we’d seen during that summer, Black Lives Matter and Antifa. And it would be wise to wear a bulletproof vest if you left the Capitol grounds.

What I want to emphasize again, because I know what you’re suggesting, and I know that you’re wrong in that suggestion, is when I got back to the United States Capitol where the actual violence occurred, I wasn’t wearing a vest. I had no clue that there was going to be violence in United States Capital. That’s another factor that the judge probably took into account when he ruled that Congressman Eric Swalwell’s lawsuit was frivolous and there was no plausible argument that could be advanced that had anything to do with the attack on the United States Capitol.

Reason I asked about the bulletproof vest was I was thinking if this were a friendly crowd, why would you need a bulletproof vest?

I had to travel from the Capitol to where that crowd was. And unlike a lot of people, I don’t have security.

Let me ask about this.

That was about a mile and a half away from where my office is located.

On the campaign trail, you talk a lot about Second Amendment rights.

Absolutely.

You’ve been endorsed by the NRA. You know, we’ve recently seen shootings and mass shootings in Texas and in New York. There was even one here in Anniston, Alabama, not long ago. There are calls for increased background checks, red flag laws, raising the age to purchase assault style weapons to 21. I’m imagining you’re not in favor of any of those. But what can be done to prevent what seems to be very frequent mass shootings?

It’s a very simple thing. Restore moral values. Restore respect for the life of others. Golden rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. One of the commandments. Thou shalt not kill. Emphasize how precious life is.

When I was growing up, I don’t know about your generation, maybe there was a mass school shooting during my first 20 years of life. But if so, I have no recollection of it. And there may have been zero mass shootings. And because I would suggest that it was that way is because we had moral values. We were taught moral values. We were taught respect for human life and today’s environment. Amoral forces have done a hatchet job on moral values and respect for human life has declined.

By way of example, when I was in high school at Grissom High School up in Huntsville, it wasn’t unusual for me to go to the high school with a shotgun and my chest waders because I had just gone duck hunting. Okay. No one thought that anyone would use any of these firearms to engage in these kind of mass shootings, because back then we were taught moral values. If you teach respect for human life at every level at K through 12. in society as a general rule of thumb, then that pretty much prevents the problem.

How do we know that? Because when I was growing up, it rarely, if ever, happened. As opposed to today, where amoral value forces have trumped, they have to a large degree eroded moral values, resulting in a decline in our society, resulting in more people willing to kill others. And I should emphasize that the largest killing of children at a school didn’t use firearms. You’re probably familiar with that.

Tell me more.

Well, do you know what it is

I’m waiting to hear.

Bath, Michigan. Roughly 40 people, give or take. A few were killed using homemade explosive device.

I’m thinking about other industrialized nations. They have much lower rates of mass shootings. If moral values are such a critical part of this, is that why we see fewer overseas?

Well, let’s talk about why we have the Second Amendment right to bear arms. It’s not for personal protection, although that’s a benefit of it. It’s not for hunting, although that’s a benefit of it. It was put in the United States Constitution for one primary reason, and that was to ensure that the citizenry always had the ability to take back their government. Should it become dictatorial, should it morph into a kingdom, by way of example, or some other dictatorial form of government. And fortunately, over the centuries, the Second Amendment has, to a very large degree, protected our republic from it becoming a dictatorship in which our rights are lost.

Now, every one of the rights in the Bill of Rights has some kind of negative side to them when people are irresponsible. By way of example, freedom of speech. A lot of people use freedom of speech to hurt the feelings of other people, sometimes inspiring violent conduct, probably on a regular basis, inspiring violent conduct, sometimes resulting in murders. But that doesn’t mean that we get rid of the First Amendment freedom of speech. With the Fourth Amendment, you’ve got the right against unlawful searches and seizures. And what that means in our courts. For about the last half century, if there was evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment, then that evidence cannot be used to convict somebody, which means criminals get out, which means more people are victims of those criminals because they have not been incarcerated like they should be to protect the public. So that’s a really bad side to the Fourth Amendment right against unlawful searches and seizures. But it doesn’t mean we get rid of the protection against unlawful searches and seizures.

 So each one of our rights in the Bill of Rights, I could go through most all of them if you wish, they have some kind of downside to them. But it doesn’t mean that we get rid of them because they are irresponsible people who use those rights to the disadvantage of society rather than advantage. I’d love for these horrific shootings to stop, but the way to do it, in my judgment, is to restore moral values so that people understand how precious life is. And they, excuse me, much less likely to engage in that kind of conduct.

So what I’m trying to get to is if we see fewer shootings of these types in other countries, I think in European counties.

Well, a lot of these other countries, they have over time, if you go back the last two centuries, they have been subjected to dictatorial rule. By way of example, all of Europe was conquered by Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s.

So my question, I’m trying to figure out why does this happen here, that it doesn’t happen elsewhere.

Because we cherish the Second Amendment right to bear arms and we are willing to do what is necessary to protect our republic, while other societies, to a large degree, apparently are more willing to subject themselves to the boot of dictatorial government.

So I don’t want to put words in your mouth, certainly, but it sounds to me like you’re saying these mass shootings are something we have to accept.

No, we need to change moral values so that there’s more respect for human life, so that the commandment thou shalt not kill is ingrained in every young child and every adult, so that the golden rule, thou treat others as you would wish them. Well, excuse me. I stumbled on that. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you is respected so that human life is better respected. That is the solution.

So as a sitting lawmaker, as a U.S. senator, how do you legislate that?

Well, you get rid of some of the things that have resulted in our declining morals. Okay. I don’t know which ones in particular that you want to focus on. Now, some of these are both an effect of declining morals, but they’re also a cause. One of the best things you can have, all the studies show this, whether it be from an economic perspective or other subjective, is that a child raised in a two parent household has a better chance of getting better grades, has a better chance of being instilled with proper moral values, has a better chance of being a citizen, upright citizen as an adult, if there are two parents involved in the parenting process. No offense to single parent households. Single parents. Some are superhumans. Super moms or super dads, and they’re able to do that. But it’s more challenging.

My wife and I, we stayed married for 46 years, married today, and as a team, we were better able to raise our kids. All four are law-abiding. All four of them have done well. All four of them have been well-educated. All four of them have good jobs. All four of them are responsible parents to their kids. Now, if my wife had had to do it by herself or if I had to do it by myself, it had been much more difficult to find the time that was necessary to give those children proper guidance. So we should not have laws that encourage the breakup of families. We should not have laws that encourage single household circumstances where you just about have to be a single parent in order to find the time to properly raise your kids in the kind of way that you would otherwise want them raised if you were a two-parent household. So that’s a part of it.

But keep in mind, that’s also an effect of declining morals. It’s not the only one. So we need to instill better respect for law and order. By way of example, we have narcotics. And a lot of these narcotics affect the way that people think. And sometimes narcotics are related to the mindset of these individuals who go on these killing rampages. So if we have better respect for law and order and a better understanding of how dangerous these drugs are and how they often change the mindset of an individual, then we can address that problem before it becomes out of control and also results in the kind of killings that you.

You said get rid of laws that encourage the breakup of families. Can you give me an example or two of a law that encourages the breakup of families?

Yeah, our tax laws.

Okay, go ahead.

Our tax laws that sometimes will pay single parents more money if they are divorced from their spouse, if they are separated from their spouse, or if they have children out of wedlock. We have welfare laws and tax laws that encourage that. I believe we ought to minimize those kinds of laws.

A couple other things I wanted to get to. President Donald Trump endorsed you earlier in the campaign cycle before pulling his endorsement. Recently, you’ve been pushing for him to re-endorsed you. You’ve made the runoff without his endorsement. Why put so much energy and messaging behind getting him back on your side?

Well, a Donald Trump endorsement in a Republican primary does add votes.

Do you think you can win without him?

Well, we’ve been doing fairly well without his endorsement over the last three months, but we would be doing better with his endorsement. It’s much like anything else. You try to emphasize the things that will help you prevail in a hotly-contested race that impacts the United States of America to such a great degree.

One of the criticisms that’s been leveled at you is that while you’ve maintained strong conservative positions, while you’ve been in the House, there’s only one piece of legislation you’ve sponsored that’s made it into law.

That’s just another one of those brazenly dishonest statements advanced by Katie Britt.

Okay, well, explain.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat. I’ve had over a hundred pieces of language that have been enacted in other bills that I have been able to attach them to. So there in Washington, it’s not like Montgomery, where each law or bill has to be limited to one subject matter. In Washington, you can have a whole bunch of different things put together into one piece of legislation. And so I’ve been relatively successful in getting into other bills, legislation that I want it to become law, and it became law. Katie Britt knows that. I don’t know why she insists on this only one bill kind of thing when she knows full well that there’s more than one way to be effective in getting your ideas embodied into law.

I’m imagining someone looking at that accusation, true or not, and thinking, this is a guy who’s more about grandstanding than legislating. How would you to respond to that?

Well, by pointing out that their premise is an error, as evidenced by what I just explained to you. So I’m surprised that you still ask the question, knowing full well from what I have stated that I’ve had over 100 different ideas embodied in two statutes.

What’s your favorite one? What are you most proud of?

Well, the one I’m most proud of was when I was killing bad language. We had a National Defense Authorization Act that was going to allow non-citizens, illegal aliens to take military service opportunities from American citizens. And that was put into the National Defense Authorization Act at the House Armed Services Committee level. And I led the fight on the House floor with an amendment to strip that bad language from the National Defense Authorization Act, such that non-citizens were not allowed to take military service opportunities for American citizens. I believe that if Americans want to serve their country in the military for whatever reason, they should have first dibs. Not non-citizens, not illegal aliens who shouldn’t even be here.

Congressman Brooks, I really appreciate your time. Anything else you’d like to add? I didn’t ask.

No. If you’re happy, I’m happy.

All right. Congressman Mo Brooks represents Alabama’s fifth congressional district. He’s running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. Congressman Brooks, thank you for your time.

My pleasure.

 

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