Sessions, running for Senate, rejects Trump's criticism

FILE - In this March 3, 2020, file photo Jeff Sessions talks with the media after voting in Alabama's primary election in Mobile, Ala. President Donald Trump's campaign sent a letter demanding his former attorney general Sessions stop tying himself to Trump in campaign materials. The letter by The March 31 letter sent by Michael S. Glassner, chief operating officer of Donald J. Trump for President, accused Sessions of attempting to misleadingly promote connections to Trump. The Trump campaign reiterated their support for Tommy Tuberville in the GOP runoff. The Sessions camp said Thursday, April 2, 2020, that Alabama voters will decide the race.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Jeff Sessions pushed back at President Donald Trump’s criticism Saturday, telling Trump that he was “damn fortunate” Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation.

Sessions responded pointedly on Twitter after Trump called Sessions untrustworthy and reiterated his endorsement of Sessions' Republican primary rival for U.S. Senate, former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville.

“Look, I know your anger, but recusal was required by law. I did my duty & you’re damn fortunate I did. It protected the rule of law & resulted in your exoneration,” Sessions tweeted in response to Trump.

Sessions added, “your personal feelings don’t dictate who Alabama picks as their senator.”

Trump fired back Saturday evening, tweeting that Sessions should “drop out of the race.”

“Jeff, you had your chance & you blew it,” Trump tweeted. “Recused yourself ON DAY ONE (you never told me of a problem), and ran for the hills. You had no courage, & ruined many lives.”

Sessions has long defended the recusal but had largely avoided engaging Trump’s tweeted scorn as he emphasizes his continuing loyalty to Trump and his agenda. Sessions has gone on the offensive about the recusal, which drew Trump’s ire and has been a lingering obstacle as Sessions seeks the U.S. Senate seat that he held for two decades.

“3 years ago, after Jeff Sessions recused himself, the Fraudulent Mueller Scam began. Alabama, do not trust Jeff Sessions. He let our Country down. That’s why I endorsed Coach Tommy Tuberville (@TTuberville), the true supporter of our #MAGA agenda!” Trump tweeted.

Sessions was Trump’s first attorney general, a position he was forced to resign when his recusal from the Russia inquiry prompted a fallout with Trump. Sessions said he was required by law to recuse because he was a potential subject and witness since he had participated in Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Sessions faces Tuberville in the July 14 Republican primary runoff. The winner will face U.S. Sen. Doug Jones in November.

Tuberville has made Trump’s belittling of Sessions a focal point of his campaign. Tuberville has begun airing ads featuring Trump’s criticisms of Sessions. One includes a clip of Trump saying if he could have one presidential do-over it would be to not appoint Sessions as attorney general.

“Jeff Sessions quit on the President and he failed Alabama. I’ll always have President Trump’s back,” Tuberville says in the ad.

Sessions, in a follow-up tweet, called Tuberville a coward for refusing to debate him and criticized his stance on immigration.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.