Politics: Standing between Jeff Sessions and the Senate is a certain Donald Trump - - PressFrom - US
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Politics Standing between Jeff Sessions and the Senate is a certain Donald Trump

05:30  08 november  2019
05:30  08 november  2019 Source:   politico.com

Potential GOP rival warns Sessions against run for old Senate seat over Trump ire

  Potential GOP rival warns Sessions against run for old Senate seat over Trump ire Rep. Bradley Byrne, who said he would not back out if the former attorney general joined the race, noted that the president would be “very vocal against him.”In recent weeks, Sessions has actively weighed a comeback bid for the seat he held for two decades, speaking with allies and calling major donors and fundraisers in the state to gauge his level of support ahead of the Nov. 8 filing deadline.

Trump and Sessions in happier days. Photo: Andrtew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images. With just a day to go before the deadline to enter Alabama’s 2020 Republican primaries, former attorney general Jeff Sessions has reportedly decided for certain to seek the Senate seat he held for two decades

WASHINGTON — Jeff Sessions , the former senator from Alabama whose tumultuous tenure as President Trump ’s attorney general lasted less than two years, plans to announce on Thursday that he will enter the race to reclaim his old seat in 2020, a Republican official said.

Jeff Sessions should enter the Senate race in Alabama as the frontrunner: He’s a national figure with endorsements from multiple senators, a hefty war chest and the benefit of having already won four previous elections to the seat.

Jeff Sessions wearing a suit and tie: Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and President Donald Trump in March 2018.© Susan Walsh/AP Photo Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and President Donald Trump in March 2018.

But there’s one major obstacle: President Donald Trump.

Sessions’ relationship with Trump deteriorated during his tenure as attorney general after Sessions recused himself from the Justice Department’s Russia investigation, and the president has continued to publicly criticize his former ally in the year since he departed the administration.

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Sessions was senator until becoming Trump 's first attorney general in 2017. Democrat Doug Jones won the seat from the deep-red state in a special "Before he runs again and asks for the voters' support, he owes the voters of Alabama a full explanation of what happened between him and the

Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions made official tonight what others speculated about for a few days, that he is making a last-minute leap into the race for his old seat in But Trump ’s criticism of Sessions is certain to be an issue in the Republican campaign between now and the March 3 primary.

Now, Sessions — who announced his candidacy Thursday night in a news release posted on his website — faces the challenging task of winning back the president’s support or becoming one of the only Republicans in the last three years to win a GOP primary without Trump’s backing. If he wins, he’ll face Sen. Doug Jones, the Democratic incumbent, who is widely viewed as the most vulnerable senator on the ballot next year.

A handful of Sessions former colleagues are ready to endorse his bid, a show of strength in a crowded Republican primary field. Sen. Richard Shelby, Alabama’s senior senator, has said he would back Sessions. Sens. Roy Blunt of Missouri and John Barrasso of Wyoming, both members of GOP leadership, also told POLITICO on Thursday they would back their former colleague, and other endorsements are expected, as well.

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President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions were once the closest of political Attorney General Jeff Sessions arrives before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 13, 2017 Trump initially defended Sessions and said he did nothing wrong. Jeff Sessions is an honest man.

Jeff Sessions ’ television image is reflected in President Donald Trump ’s official portrait at the Department of Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to announce Thursday he will run for his old Sessions enters the race a day before the filing deadline in what will likely be a bruising

But most of Sessions’ former colleagues are remaining on the sidelines of the crowded primary, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee will remain neutral.

“I guess I’d rather go into a Republican primary with the president’s support than without it,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D). “But Jeff Sessions is iconic, and obviously he’ll be a player right out of the chute.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who won’t endorse in the primary, said: “I think the whole campaign is going to be around what President Trump said about Jeff Sessions. I think Jeff knows what he’s getting into, and we’ll leave it up to the voters in Alabama.”

Sessions flew back to Washington on Thursday from Chicago, where he gave a speech at Northwestern University, in time for an interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News. Carlson is a longtime Sessions friend, and his nightly program draws a wide conservative audience — including the president.

Jeff Sessions announces Senate run

  Jeff Sessions announces Senate run Trump has said nominating Sessions as attorney general was the "biggest mistake" of his presidency and his leadership of the agency was a 'total joke'Sessions, who was the first senator to endorse Trump's campaign, suffered a huge falling out with the president over his decision to recuse himself from the federal probe into Russia's involvement in the 2016 election. Trump has said naming Sessions as attorney general was the "biggest mistake" of his presidency, and he has called his leadership of the Justice Department "a total joke.

Jeff Sessions was the first senator to endorse Trump at a time when few Republican lawmakers supported the candidate. His early and fierce In the Senate , Sessions was a crusader for a hard-line stance on immigration, arguing that even legal immigration to the United States should be moderated.

NBC News reports that Sessions has reportedly been expressly told that Trump intends to campaign against him, and the Washington Post notes that Trump has even joked he should go one step further, reportedly telling White House aides and senators that if Sessions runs, Trump wants to go down to

“I was there for the Trump agenda every day I was in the Senate, no doubt about it,” Sessions said in the interview, during which he repeatedly praised Trump and portrayed himself as a top ally of his agenda. He also took several shots at Republicans currently in Congress, saying some remained “standoff-ish” with the president and “haven’t been pushing hard enough to advance the Trump agenda.”

Sessions said he did not regret recusing himself from the Russia investigation — a decision Trump remains furious over. But he did push back on the impeachment inquiry Trump faces in the House, saying that the president has faced a “continuous political attack” but that Trump “conducted himself in this matter within the law” in his dealings with Ukraine.

The interview and his launch video — in which he praised Trump and did not mention his own Senate campaign — appeared to be an effort to repair the damage of his fractured relationship with Trump and portray himself as a willing defender of the president.

Sessions has been talking privately with two Trump political lieutenants, Bill Stepien and Justin Clark. At Sessions’ request, the two took the temperature of the White House to see how the president would respond.

Sessions wins endorsement from key GOP senators

  Sessions wins endorsement from key GOP senators Eleven Senate Republicans Friday endorsed former Attorney General Jeff Sessions in his bid to regain the Senate seat in Alabama that he held for two decades, bucking a White House that has frowned on him running again. © Provided by MediaDC: Washington Newspaper Publishing Company, Inc.Sessions announced Thursday he’ll run for his old seat. The 11 Senate Republican endorsements, which include a GOP leader, will likely bolster Sessions in his effort to win in a March primary and to eventually gain the party endorsement and blessing of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Jeff Sessions is running for his former Senate seat in Alabama in 2020. A year after President Donald Trump removed him as attorney general, Sessions launches a campaign in a "When President Trump took on Washington, only one Senator out of a hundred had the courage to stand with him: me.

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Thursday night he is running to reclaim his old Senate seat from Alabama, where he's been a conservative icon But it's already clear that President Donald Trump 's enmity toward Sessions , along with an established field of competitors, means he'll

Sessions has tapped two Republican strategists, Curt Anderson and Timmy Teepell, to oversee his campaign, according to two people familiar with the choice. As he deliberated over whether to enter the contest — discussions that intensified after Labor Day — Sessions reviewed polling that he had conducted. Among the questions he was forced to ponder was how a Trump assault would affect his prospective candidacy.

Sessions has spoken to several of his colleagues in the months leading up to his decision, several of whom encouraged him to run and others who were pointed in their advice on what he would face during the grueling campaign.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) recalled telling Sessions: “Your life is going to be very difficult unless you work out some sort of reconciliation with the president.” Cornyn added that he hoped the two would reconcile and assumed that Sessions would be the nominee, given his previous popularity in the state.

The other candidates in the race are Rep. Bradley Byrne, former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville, Secretary of State John Merrill, state Rep. Arnold Mooney and Roy Moore, who lost the 2017 special election amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Sessions reached out to the other candidates in the race this week after making his decision to run, according to multiple Republican sources familiar with the conversations. Merrill confirmed that he and Sessions spoke Wednesday, though he declined to discuss the substance of the conversation. Sessions and Byrne spoke Thursday, according to sources familiar with the conversation, and the former attorney general also reached out to Mooney.

Trump noncommittal on backing Jeff Sessions for Senate

  Trump noncommittal on backing Jeff Sessions for Senate MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — President Donald Trump says he won't campaign against his former attorney general, whom he publicly mocked in the past, as Jeff Sessions tries to reclaim a seat in the U.S. Senate. Trump, whose relationship with Sessions soured when the attorney general recused himself from the Russia investigation, was noncommittal when asked if he would endorse Sessions. "No, I won't. I'll see how it all goes," Trump said when asked ifTrump, whose relationship with Sessions soured when the attorney general recused himself from the Russia investigation, was noncommittal when asked if he would endorse Sessions.

Sessions announced the bid for his old U.S. Senate seat despite warnings that President Donald Trump would actively campaign against him. Trump has said nominating Sessions as attorney general was the "biggest mistake" of his presidency and his leadership of the agency was a 'total joke'.

Jeff Sessions Seeks to Reclaim His Alabama Senate Seat. But it’s already clear that President Donald Trump ’s enmity toward him, along Trump turned on Sessions because Sessions recused himself from the investigation into “Before he runs again and asks for the voters’ support, he owes the voters of Alabama a full explanation of what happened between him and the president,” Brown said.

“If Sen. Sessions chooses to get in the race, that obviously changes the dynamics of the race completely,” Merrill said in an interview Thursday. He added that it would be “extraordinarily difficult for him to have a successful campaign at the level he’s accustomed to if the president decides that he does not want Sen. Sessions to return to Washington.”

The other candidates have already signaled a willingness to attack Sessions directly. Tuberville put out a video shortly ahead of Sessions’ announcement showing news clips of Trump criticizing his former attorney general. “Pres. Trump said it best when he called Jeff Sessions ‘a disaster’ as AG and an ‘embarrassment to AL.’ The career politicians have let us down,” Tuberville tweeted.

Jones brushed off any concerns about Sessions entering the race, saying of the GOP primary: “They’re the ones that are running around with their hair on fire. It doesn’t affect anything that we’re doing.”

If reelected, Sessions would return to a chamber he occupied for two decades. But not all of his former colleagues are racing to back him up. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wouldn’t comment about Sessions directly on Thursday but said he wanted to win Alabama and “whoever the nominee is, we’ll be behind.”

Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) said that it was up to “the people of Alabama” to decide who the Republican nominee will be, but that if Sessions “ends up prevailing in that race, we’ll look forward to having him as a colleague.”

Sen. Todd Young, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said he didn’t expect to take sides in the primary but was confident in Republicans’ position in the general election.

Other senators voiced concern about what a crowded field could mean. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kans.), who doesn’t plan to endorse anyone in the primary, said he hoped the party could avoid a brutal fight.

“I just hope we don’t get into a bad situation and then lose the general,” Roberts said. “If you have a bitter primary fight, sometimes that doesn’t work out very well.”

John Bresnahan contributed to this report.

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