Sessions Launches Team Trump’s Russia Counteroffensive
WASHINGTON ― At 70 years of age, an Eagle Scout and Sunday school teacher, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III can seem mild-mannered and even a bit forlorn.
“I kind of go my own way in the Senate,” he told me last year as we stood waiting for our bags at a Reagan Airport carousel after returning home from a Donald Trump campaign event. “I don’t think there are many senators who want to associate with me.”
Sessions was lonely for a reason. Beneath the timid surface is a streak of impatience, resentment and anger. Old-school Alabama, he is a descendant of secessionists and segregationists and was known during his 20 years in the U.S. Senate as a skeptic of civil rights enforcement and a foe of immigration of most any kind.
Even in the modern Republican Party, Sessions often was too much, a cranky uncle in the Deep South basement of race-based politics.
Not surprisingly, he was, for a long time, the first and only U.S. senator to back Trump.
Sessions, who was rewarded with the job of attorney general for his early support, was the logical person to launch Team Trump’s new hard-line strategy of trying to discredit Russia investigations on Capitol Hill and at the Department of Justice.
To do so, the first order of business was to re-baptize Sessions as a member of Team Trump, and to restore some measure of credibility.
The president has privately derided Sessions as weak for recusing himself from overseeing the Russia probe; he had left himself open to accusations of perjury with his incomplete ― to say the least ― confirmation hearing testimony about his Russian […]