Alabama senators come to Sessions’ defense

Published 9:09 pm Thursday, March 2, 2017

Alabama Congressmen reacted to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement that he would recuse himself from any investigations into allegations that Russians meddled in the 2016 Presidential election.

Sessions made the announcement in a Thursday afternoon press conference.

During the press conference, the former Alabama senator, who was head of the Trump campaign’s national security team and as a senator served on the Senate Armed Services Committee, denied any discussion about the election with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Some Democrats have called for Sessions to resign after it was revealed on Wednesday evening that he met twice with Kislyak. He came under fire because he told the Senate Judiciary Committee at his confirmation hearing that he didn’t have contact with Russians during the campaign.

“Let me be clear: I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign, and the idea that I was part of a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries from the Russian government is totally false,” he said.

Sessions said he met with the Department of Justice, who made the recommendation that he recuse himself from investigations involving Russia.

“I believe those recommendations are right and just,” he said. “The proper decision, I believe has been reached.”

Alabama’s Sen. Richard Shelby, who served with Sessions in the Senate, released a statement after the press conference.

“This afternoon I watched Attorney General Sessions’ press conference where he thoroughly explained his responses to the judiciary committee,” Shelby said. “As I have said before, I hold Jeff’s integrity in the highest regard and his action solidifies my respect for his leadership. I firmly believe that Jeff has committed no wrongdoing and his statement today proves as much. Attorney General Sessions’ decision to recuse himself was wise, and I fully support him.”

Sen. Luther Strange, who was appointed to fill Sessions’ unexpired term, also issued a statement.

“I have not been in Washington very long, but I did not think Democrats could stoop much lower than they did during Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing,” he said. “As we found out today, they can, and the hypocrisy of it is hard to stomach. For eight years, Democrats turned a blind eye to serious breaches of public trust, but they did not miss a beat in trying to undermine President Trump’s administration as it gets to work cleaning up their mess.

“Today’s attacks are ugly, and they are entirely baseless,” Strange said. “Here are the facts: Jeff Sessions has a proven record as a national security watchdog who is tough on Russia. As every Democrat who is criticizing Jeff Sessions knows, meetings between senators and foreign ambassadors happen nearly every day – they are part of the job, especially for a senior member of the armed services committee.”

Strange called on Democrats to “stop this witch hunt and join Republicans in the business of doing what the American people sent us here for – fixing our economy, securing our border and strengthening national security.”