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President Donald Trump blasted Jeff Sessions on Friday, telling Alabama voters not to “trust” his former attorney general while reminding them of the recusal that led to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller.
The former AG snapped back at Trump’s initial Friday evening tweet: “@realdonaldtrump 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. Your personal feelings don’t dictate who Alabama picks as their senator, the people of Alabama do.”
Trump again professed his support for Sessions’ U.S. Senate opponent, former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville, as the two prepare to face off in a special run-off election July 14 after the original March 31 date was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The winner will face incumbent Sen. Doug Jones, a Democrat who narrowly won the seat which Sessions had previously held for years before resigning to become the president’s first AG.
“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 wrote.
Trump has been critical of Sessions even before he fired him in November 2018 amid the ongoing Mueller witch hunt investigation that eventually wound up exonerating the president, despite ensnaring several former associates and campaign officials.
“Jeff Sessions recused himself, which he shouldn’t have done or he should have told me,” Trump told Fox News’ Ainsley Earhardt in an August 2018 interview, repeating familiar criticism of his then-AG. “Even my enemies say that Jeff Sessions should have told you that he was going to recuse himself and then you wouldn’t have put him in.
“He took the job, and then he said, ‘I’m going to recuse myself,’” Trump added. “I said, ‘What kind of a man is this?’”
Sessions has tried to re-ingratiate himself with the president.
“When I left President Trump’s Cabinet, did I write a tell-all book? No,” Sessions told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson in November 2018. “Did I go on CNN and attack the president? No. Have I said a cross word about our president? Not one time.
“I will tell you why. First, that would be dishonorable. I was there to serve his agenda — not mine. Second, the president is doing a great job — for America and Alabama. And he has my strong support.”
But after Sessions didn’t secure a majority of votes in the Alabama primary earlier this year, which led to the July run-off election, Trump ripped into him again.
And while Tuberville is continuing to run as a solid backer of Trump and his agenda, Sessions now appears to have had enough of the criticism from his former boss.
.@realdonaldtrump 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. Your personal feelings don't dictate who Alabama picks as their senator, the people of Alabama do. https://t.co/QQKHNAgmiE
— Jeff Sessions (@jeffsessions) May 23, 2020
Sessions followed up that tweet with another, calling Tuberville — a revered football hero in the deep-red state — a “coward” for refusing to debate and for allegedly claiming that the president is “wrong on China & trade.”
Tuberville’s a coward who is rightly too afraid to debate me. He says you’re wrong on China & trade. He wants to bring in even more foreign workers to take American jobs. That’s not your agenda and it’s not mine or Alabama’s. I know Alabama. Tuberville doesn’t.
— Jeff Sessions (@jeffsessions) May 23, 2020
“Tuberville’s a coward who is rightly too afraid to debate me. He says you’re wrong on China & trade. He wants to bring in even more foreign workers to take American jobs. That’s not your agenda and it’s not mine or Alabama’s. I know Alabama. Tuberville doesn’t,” Sessions wrote.
In terms of the contest, polling shows Tuberville with a healthy lead over Sessions. The survey from Cygnal found that the former football coach leads Sessions by 20 points.
The poll of 607 likely Republican voters found that 55.1 percent were probably or definitely favoring Tuberville, with 31.8 percent probably or definitely favoring Sessions. A further breakdown found that 36.5 percent definitely favored Tuberville and 19.4 percent definitely favored Sessions.
In the primary, Tuberville garnered 33 percent of the vote while Sessions captured 32 percent.
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