Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is hoping President Trump has his back for the Alabama Senate run he announced this week.
But given their rocky relationship, he shouldn’t count on it.
When Fox News host Tucker Carlson pressed Sessions on his relationship with Trump Thursday night, citing his campaign ad where he declared his loyalty to the President, Sessions expressed his hopes for Trump’s support.
“Well I hope so, I think he will respect my work,” Sessions said, before mentioning that he pushed Trump’s immigration, trade and foreign policy agenda. “I was there for the Trump agenda every day I was in the Senate — no doubt about it. I was the first Republican, first senator to endorse him.”
On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that Trump disapproves of his former attorney general’s run for his old Senate seat. The Times noted that Sessions runs the risk of reigniting attacks from the President who still begrudges him for his Russia probe recusal, which eventually forced Sessions to resign. A person briefed on the discussions told the Times that when Trump repeatedly called Sessions a “jerk” last weekend, he made it clear that he would not support Sessions.
During a White House pool spray Friday morning, Trump said that he hadn’t “gotten involved” with Sessions’ Senate run, but that he saw the “very nice things” he said during his Thursday night interview with Carlson.
“Well, I haven’t gotten involved. I saw he said very nice things about me last night, but we’ll have to see,” Trump said. “I haven’t made a determination.”
When asked whether he had forgiven his former attorney general for recusing himself from the Russia probe, Trump responded, “I don’t even think about it.”
When Carlson pressed him about how his recusal from the Russia probe during his tenure as attorney general made Trump furious, Sessions denied regretting the decision because he did what he “had to do under the rules and the Department of Justice.” However, Sessions said that he knew “how painful” his Russia probe recusal was for Trump.
“The whole thing was very painful for him, and he saw this as a pivotal moment,” Sessions said, arguing that despite how “painful and as prolonged as it was, it did clear him of Russian collusion.”
Asked whether he plans to talk to Trump about not coming out against him during his Senate run, given the President’s popularity in Alabama, Sessions said that he looks forward to the opportunity of having a discussion with the President about it.
“I will. And I look forward to having that opportunity and having been provided it at this moment,” Sessions said, before reiterating his point about believing in Trump’s agenda.
Watch Sessions’ appearance below:
Sessions hopes he has Trump's support in Alabama Senate run pic.twitter.com/rerEXsIliK
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) November 8, 2019