The Wire

  • New tunnel, premium RV section at Talladega Superspeedway on schedule despite weather

    Excerpt:

    Construction of a new oversized vehicle tunnel and premium RV infield parking section at Talladega Superspeedway is still on schedule to be completed in time for the April NASCAR race, despite large amounts of rainfall and unusual groundwater conditions underneath the track.

    Track Chairman Grant Lynch, during a news conference Wednesday at the track, said he’s amazed the general contractor, Taylor Corporation of Oxford, has been able to keep the project on schedule.

    “The amount of water they have pumped out of that and the extra engineering they did from the original design, basically to keep that tunnel from floating up out of the earth, was remarkable,” Lynch said.

  • Alabama workers built 1.6M engines in 2018 to add auto horsepower

    Excerpt:

    Alabama’s auto workers built nearly 1.6 million engines last year, as the state industry continues to carve out a place in global markets with innovative, high-performance parts, systems and finished vehicles.

    Last year also saw major new developments in engine manufacturing among the state’s key players, and more advanced infrastructure is on the way in the coming year.

    Hyundai expects to complete a key addition to its engine operations in Montgomery during the first half of 2019, while Honda continues to reap the benefits of a cutting-edge Alabama engine line installed several years ago.

  • Groundbreaking on Alabama’s newest aerospace plant made possible through key partnerships

    Excerpt:

    Political and business leaders gathered for a groundbreaking at Alabama’s newest aerospace plant gave credit to the formation of the many key partnerships that made it possible.

    Governor Kay Ivey and several other federal, state and local officials attended the event which celebrated the construction of rocket engine builder Blue Origin’s facility in Huntsville.

10 hours ago

Dale Jackson: You’re the real MVP, Jeff Sessions

(U.S. Southern Command/Contributed, White House, Ian Sane/Flickr, YHN)

Jeff Sessions is still the MVP of the Trump administration.

Sessions’ tireless work in his time as a U.S. senator laid the groundwork for President Donald Trump’s America First agenda, and his early endorsement gave Trump the legitimacy he needed to win over conservatives to put him in the White House. He was one of the president’s most trusted advisors on the campaign trail, traveling all over the country with him to pitch their unified agenda.

The two were united because most of the policies that make Donald Trump so popular in the state of Alabama were championed by Jeff Sessions for decades before Trump sought public office.

Without Sessions, Trump probably doesn’t make it into the White House.

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The former attorney general joined WVNN radio on Tuesday to discuss why he jumped on the Trump train so early, saying, “What I felt so good about was that I’d come to take a very strong stand on immigration, on defending American manufacturing, even I thought we needed to be more careful, a lot more careful on getting involved in wars around the globe. And boy, President Trump came forward, he seized the public’s attention, he advocated those issues and I thought he would follow through with them, and he has.”

Despite that, the unfair criticism from the president has flowed relatively freely, but Sessions has refused to, as he called it, “waffle” in his support of Trump.

Sessions told “The Dale Jackson Show” that he thinks Trump is still doing a good job to this day.

“I traveled with him all over the country, and I believe in him and his agenda and he’s performed, I think, exceedingly well,” he shared.

Of course, every one of Sessions’ opponents in this Senate race will try to diminish an honorable and successful career to one thing: His time as AG and Trump’s reaction to his reasonable recusal from all things Russia.

In the interview, Sessions addressed concerns about his recusal in the Russian collusion investigation, explaining he felt it was clearly black and white.

“I believe that [recusing] was the only thing I could do,” he explained. “I believe we reviewed it carefully, and the regulations in the Department of Justice are specific. If you are a participant in a campaign, and I was a high level, full, just totally campaigned for Trump. I held a title of foreign national security advisor. So that was the deal. And it says explicitly, you can’t investigate your own campaign.”

Sessions also argued that as a member of the campaign, he knew there was no collusion, adding he was not afraid of an investigation into it because he knew nothing had happened.

My takeaway:

As the Mueller report reflected, Sessions was 100% correct. He was right to recuse himself.

And not only was Sessions 100% correct on that, but the president gained some major political points by being cleared by Robert Mueller, who was heralded for years by the left-wing media as being above reproach.

He will also gain from beating the media and their Democrats on impeachment.

But if the president had just listened to former Attorney General Sessions, he would have been a lot better off, both legally and politically, because everything Sessions predicted about the investigation bore out as he said it would, with a full exoneration of the president.

Meanwhile, Sessions was fighting to help build the wall, expand free speech to college campuses around the country, fight back on DACA, defend religious freedom, and most importantly, begin the investigation into the origins of the Russia collusion investigation.

Everything good about Donald Trump has the fingerprints of Jeff Sessions all over it.

For that reason, Sessions remains the MVP of the Trump administration and is someone the president should be very thankful he had, and still has, on his team, regardless of how the 2020 U.S. Senate Republican primary plays out.

Listen:

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

11 hours ago

Jessica Taylor endorsed by GOP State Rep. Will Dismukes in AL-02 race

(S. Ross/YHN)

PRATTVILLE — Conservative Republican congressional candidate Jessica Taylor on Tuesday was endorsed by State Rep. Will Dismukes (R-Prattville) in the race to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Martha Roby (AL-02).

A group of supporters braved the cold to stand behind Taylor, as Dismukes stood alongside her, at Heritage Park in historic downtown Prattville for the announcement.

Dismukes, a first term state legislator, recently withdrew his candidacy for this same Second Congressional District seat, citing not being able to raise the requisite funds to competitively continue in the race.

Speaking on Tuesday, he enthusiastically threw his support behind Taylor, who is a businesswoman and attorney from Prattville.

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“As a candidate for Congress, I highlighted my conservative plan to end abortion on demand, protect our Christian values and enact term limits on members of Congress to help President Trump drain the swamp,” Dismukes said. “However, after thoughtful prayer, I decided recently that it was not my time to seek election [for AL-02].”

“Our country desperately needs a new generation of conservatives to take on radical socialists like AOC, Ilhan Omar and their ‘squad.’ That’s why, today, I’m endorsing Jessica Taylor for Congress. Because she will go and fight socialism that is a major threat to our democracy, and I believe in my heart that Jessica is the right leader for this district, for this state and for this country,” he continued.

“She has the courage, the principles and the hook-shot to take on the radical leftists, protect the right to life, defend the second amendment and help President Trump drain the swamp!” Dismukes added, referring to Taylor’s viral campaign announcement video.

Taylor expressed her appreciation for Dismukes’ endorsement before speaking briefly on some of her campaign’s focuses.

“As conservatives, we must push back against the radical left’s teaching of our generation that socialism is an ideology that we should embrace,” Taylor stressed.

“As your congresswoman, I will go to D.C. to protect life, the Second Amendment and support President Trump,” she continued. “We need a new generation of conservatives who can fight “The Squad,” AOC — all of the folks who are brainwashing our generation.”

She outlined that a recent poll stated that over 70% of millennials responded that they support socialism and approximately 1/3 even responded that they support communism.

“This is something that we cannot accept,” Taylor commented.

You can view a video of Tuesday’s announcement event here.

Other qualified GOP candidates in the race include Wiregrass businessman Jeff Coleman, former Alabama Attorney General Troy King and former State Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise).

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

12 hours ago

U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt names Kerry Knott chief of staff

(Office of Robert Aderholt/Contributed)

Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-04) on Tuesday officially announced the hire of Capitol Hill veteran Kerry Knott as his chief of staff.

Knott most recently ran Knott Strategies, LLC, where he helped Ravi Zacharias International Ministries focus on Washington, D.C.-based ministry opportunities. Knott notably helped create “At The Table,” a new event series designed to bring influential people together across industries to address important cultural and policy issues.

In a statement, Aderholt said, “I am very excited to be bringing Kerry Knott onboard as our new Chief of Staff.”

“Kerry is extremely talented. His many years of service in both the public and private sectors give him a great wealth of information and the skills needed to oversee my office staff and achieve our legislative priorities. As a native of Guntersville, Alabama, I know Kerry will always make serving the people of the 4th Congressional District the top priority in our office, everyday,” the congressman added.

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Knott’s congressional experience is extensive, including serving from 1985 to 1998 as the chief of staff to former House Majority Leader Dick Armey. In this role, Knott helped craft the 1994 “Contract with America,” which helped Republicans regain control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years.

“Congressman Aderholt has a great heart for our nation and for the state of Alabama,” Knott stressed. “It shows by his character, his integrity and in his effectiveness. It’s an honor to join his team and to help him accomplish his plans for our nation and for the 4th District of Alabama.”

Knott and his wife, Michelle Morgan Knott, live in Arlington, Virginia, with their three children: Sydney, Charlie and Austin. He is a native of Guntersville and graduated from Guntersville High School in 1978 and Auburn University in 1982.

Knott fills the void left by former Aderholt chief of staff Brian Rell, who recently departed to lead the D.C. office of Birmingham-based Balch and Bingham.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

12 hours ago

Schumer deputy fundraising for Doug Jones

(Center for American Progress Action Fund, Senate Democrats/Flickr, Wikicommons, YHN)

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), the highest-ranking member of the Senate Democratic leadership besides Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), is now publicly raising money for endangered Senator Doug Jones (D-AL).

In a recent tweet, Durbin urged his followers to donate to Jones’ campaign.

The tweet links to a fundraising landing page with Durbin’s own campaign logo on it.

“Contribute now to help Doug Jones beat Jeff Sessions in Alabama’s Senate race,” the page urges.

This follows a trend of national Democrats fundraising for Jones based off of former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions entering the crowded Republican primary to reclaim his old Senate seat.

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Senator Kamala Harris’ (D-CA) presidential campaign launched a fundraising blitz with contributions split between her campaign and Jones’, and Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) have followed suit. Schatz also serves on Schumer’s Senate Democratic leadership team as chief deputy whip.

Per Murphy, his and Schatz’s respective fundraising appeals raised $40,000 for Jones’ campaign in the first day alone.

Jones welcomed the support, tweeting, “It is awesome to be in the company of such great friends – and true public servants.”

In the past three quarters, Jones raised 77%, 88% and 88%, respectively, of his individual itemized contributions from outside the state of Alabama.

Californians and New Yorkers have been Jones’ largest sources of funding, with the Washington, D.C. area and other liberal metropolitan strongholds like Chicago also playing major roles.

In addition to Sessions, the competitive GOP Senate primary field includes former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville, Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01), former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, Secretary of State John Merrill and State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs).

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

19 hours ago

Jeff Coleman first up on TV in AL-02

(Jeff Coleman campaign/Contributed)

Wiregrass businessman Jeff Coleman, a Republican candidate to succeed U.S. Rep. Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) in Alabama’s Second Congressional District, on Tuesday announced that his campaign will be going up on television with an advertisement in the Dothan and Montgomery media markets.

The 30-second advertisement is an adaptation of the longer web video, “Mover and Shaker,” that Coleman released last week.

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This comes after Coleman recently kicked off his campaign to a packed crowd in Dothan. He has been designated “On the Radar” by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), and he ended the third fundraising quarter with nearly $1 million cash-on-hand after raising $468,001 and loaning his campaign $500,000.

Coleman is a former chairman of the Business Council of Alabama (BCA) and former civilian aide to the secretary of the U.S. Army for Alabama (South).

Other qualified GOP candidates include Prattville businesswoman Jessica Taylor, former Alabama Attorney General Troy King and former State Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise).

Roby is not seeking reelection to a sixth term.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

1 day ago

Republican AL-02 candidate Jessica Taylor signs term limits pledge

(Jessica Taylor campaign/YouTube)

Prattville’s Jessica Taylor, a conservative Republican candidate in Alabama’s Second Congressional District, in recent days announced she has signed the U.S. Term Limits Congressional Pledge.

In signing the pledge, Taylor committed — if elected — to cosponsoring and voting for the U.S. Term Limits amendment, which would enact limits of three terms maximum for U.S. House members and two terms maximum for U.S. senators.

In a statement, Taylor said, “We will never drain the swamp if we keep sending the same old career politicians to D.C. election after election.”

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“As a conservative, I am deeply frustrated by the out-of-control spending, backroom deals, and broken promises that are the status quo in Washington,” she concluded. “We need term limits to empower voters and return our government to citizen legislators who can bring fresh ideas and conservative reform to Washington. As your next congresswoman, I will go toe-to-toe with socialists like AOC, Ilhan Omar, and their liberal ‘squad’ to fight for our conservative Alabama values.”

Taylor is running in a crowded GOP primary to succeed U.S. Rep. Martha Roby (AL-02), who is not seeking reelection to a sixth term.

Other qualified candidates include Wiregrass businessman Jeff Coleman, former Alabama Attorney General Troy King and former State Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise).

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 days ago

Byrne campaign rolls out veterans coalition on Veterans Day

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

Congressman Bradley Byrne’s (AL-01) U.S Senate campaign on Monday — Veterans Day — announced the launch of their “Veterans for Byrne” coalition, which includes more than 400 veterans from across Alabama.

In a statement, Byrne said, “Nothing means more to me than having the support from those who have served our great country.”

“Our veterans have fought to defend the values that make America great, and I promise to do everything I can do to ensure those same values are protected and that the ones who have given so much to our country receive the benefits and support they deserve,” he added.

The statewide coalition chair is Lt. General Charles “Chick” Cleveland of Montgomery and the vice chair is Colonel John Reitzell of Huntsville.

Each branch of the U.S. military is represented by a chairman, and each region of the Yellowhammer State is represented by a veterans steering committee.

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Cleveland is one of America’s “Fighter Aces,” the country’s most distinguished fighter pilots. He earned his “Ace” status in the Korean War, in which he shot down five enemy aircraft in the dangerous region known as “MIG Alley.”

“No one has been a stronger fighter for our Alabama veterans than Bradley Byrne,” Cleveland stated. “When it comes to supporting our troops and veterans, Bradley Byrne is the only man for the job.”

Reitzell added, “While some people in this race have attacked President Trump for not doing enough for our veterans, Bradley Byrne has been on the frontlines with President Trump to get better care and clean up the mess at the VA. Talk is cheap. Bradley is actually getting the job done for our veterans, and I’m proud to support him.”

You can read statements from the respective branch coalition chairs and view the members of each regional steering committee here.

Byrne is running in the crowded Republican primary to unseat Senator Doug Jones (D-AL). Other qualified GOP candidates include former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, Secretary of State John Merrill and State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs).

Byrne has previously unveiled a farmers coalition supporting his campaign, as well as a 67-county grassroots leadership team.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

3 days ago

Trump greeted in Bryant-Denny Stadium by deafening cheers, ‘USA’ chant (VIDEO)

(Roger Hoover/Twitter)

President Donald Trump did indeed get a hero’s welcome as he arrived in Bryant-Denny Stadium to watch the University of Alabama Crimson Tide play the LSU Tigers.

After entering the box the president and first lady are sitting in, President Trump walked to the balcony and started waving to the jam-packed stadium.

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First Lady Melania Trump joined the president as they were officially welcomed via the in-stadium public address system.

As seen in the video below, the Trumps were greeted by a resounding chorus of cheers lasting approximately one-minute long.

A loud impromptu chant of “USA-USA-USA” even broke out.

Watch:

Several notable guests could be seen in the box with the Trumps, including Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), Congressman Gary Palmer (AL-06) and Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01). Also present was the owner of the box — UA System Trustee Jim Wilson, III — and Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-04), who flew down in Air Force One to Tuscaloosa with the Trumps.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

4 days ago

Watch: Trump touches down in Tuscaloosa with FLOTUS, Robert Aderholt

(WVTM/YouTube)

Air Force One touched down Saturday at approximately 1:48 p.m. CT at Tuscaloosa National Airport ahead of the University of Alabama Crimson Tide’s game against LSU in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

President Donald Trump was joined walking down the steps of the plane by his wife — First Lady Melania Trump — and Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-04).

Watch:

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The game is being televised on CBS at 2:30 p.m. CT on Saturday. Aderholt will also be attending the game with the Trumps.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

4 days ago

Lee Corso picks LSU over Alabama — Byrne: ‘He probably picked Hillary too’

(College GameDay/Twitter)

The intersection of politics and sports is certainly on display in Tuscaloosa on Saturday, with President Donald Trump set to attend the University of Alabama Crimson Tide’s home game against LSU.

In the Yellowhammer State, college football is a way of life for many, and this dynamic was evident in how Republican Congressman Bradley Byrne’s (AL-01) U.S. Senate campaign approached the big game.

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First, the campaign commissioned a billboard reading, “Roll Trump. Roll Byrne. Roll Tide.”

The campaign had supporters in the crowd around ESPN’s College GameDay set, getting their signs seen on national television as evidenced here and here.

Byrne’s campaign also had something to say when GameDay icon Lee Corso (perhaps “Corseaux” for the occasion) picked LSU over Bama, donning a Tiger mascot head at the end of the show.

The guest picker, former UA golfer Justin Thomas, did not like the pick — and apparently neither did Byrne.

“Lee Corso picked #LSU. He probably picked Hillary too #RollTide,” the congressman tweeted.

The Alabama-LSU game will be televised at 2:30 p.m. CT Saturday on CBS.

Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-04) will be amongst the group flying down to Tuscaloosa aboard Air Force One with Trump and attending the game with the president.

RELATED: Former Bama golfer Justin Thomas tips hat to Jalen Hurts as College GameDay guest picker

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

4 days ago

Ten other GOP U.S. senators join Shelby in endorsing Sessions

(YHN, G. Skidmore/Flickr)

A total of 11 Republican U.S. senators on Friday signed onto an open letter urging conservatives to back former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ bid to return to his old Alabama Senate seat.

The group of senators endorsing Sessions, per Politico, is comprised of Sens. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), John Barrasso (R-WY), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Deb Fischer (R-NE).

Barrasso and Blunt are the third and fourth highest ranking leaders, respectively, in the Senate Republican caucus.

The letter was paid for and authorized by Sessions’ campaign.

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“Each of us has served in the United States Senate with Jeff Sessions. We have seen him work diligently in the public eye and behind closed doors, when things were both good and bad, under stress and in success,” the senators wrote.

They continued, “We know Jeff’s character and his temperament. We know his commitment to his principles. We know he is a man of his word. And we know he is devoted to serving the people of Alabama.”

“We believe Jeff Sessions has more to offer his country, and we believe the United States Senate will be better with his experience and leadership,” the senators concluded.

Additionally, each senator had a unique quote about Sessions at the bottom of the letter. Many of the quotes referenced a long period of service alongside Sessions.

For example, Roberts, who is retiring after choosing not to seek reelection in 2020, said, “After serving with Sessions for more than 20 years, I believe he is the best candidate for the job.”

Sessions has entered an already-crowded GOP primary field for the Senate seat, with other qualified candidates currently including former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville, Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01), former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, Secretary of State John Merrill and State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs).

Reacting to the group of senators endorsing Sessions, Byrne campaign press secretary Lenze Morris said, “After announcing his campaign from D.C., the swamp machine now rolls out support from establishment politicians. It’s time Jeff comes back to Alabama and realizes things aren’t quite how they once were.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

5 days ago

Trump refrains from attacking Sessions, says Tuberville ‘is doing very well’

(Tommy for Senate/Facebook, Fox News, Jeff Sessions/YouTube, YHN)

At least for now, President Donald Trump is not publicly attacking former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ bid to return to his old Alabama Senate seat.

Trump has consistently bashed Sessions’ performance as attorney general, both while he was still on the job and after his forced resignation.

Speaking with reporters outside the White House on Friday, Trump was asked if he will campaign against Sessions. The president indicated that at this point he does not plan on speaking out against Sessions’ candidacy but left wiggle room for that to change moving forward.

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“No, I won’t,” Trump said when asked. “I’ll see how it all goes.”

“You have some very good candidates,” he added. “Look, Alabama is a place where my approval numbers are very good. … I love Alabama. I’m going to go watch a very good football game (in Tuscaloosa) on Saturday. … It’s going to be great.”

“We’ll see what happens,” Trump continued, moving back to the Sessions topic. “He’s got tough competition. I mean, you have the football coach. Tommy is doing very well. You have some good people running in Alabama. Let’s see what happens.”

Watch:

This comes after Donald Trump, Jr. last week on “The Jeff Poor Show” said, “I think you have a couple of people that could do a really good job (who are running in the GOP primary).”

Warning against the danger of nominating former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore again, the younger Trump added, “So, you know between Bradley [Byrne] and those guys (non-Moore candidates) — you have great options, guys that will do a great job there. And I think it’s a no-brainer. We have got to get them in there initially.”

RELATED: Donald Trump, Jr. reacts to Sessions entering Senate race, talks about ultimate goal of beating Doug Jones

The GOP Senate primary consists of a crowded field of competitive candidates, including Tuberville, Byrne, Moore, Secretary of State John Merrill, State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs) and now Sessions.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

5 days ago

Shelby, Ivey place friendly wagers with Louisiana counterparts on Bama-LSU game

(J. Bel Edwards, The Hill/Twitter, YHN)

It seems that everyone is getting into the spirit of things as Saturday’s big game featuring No. 1 LSU vs. No. 2 Alabama looms large.

On Thursday, U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) — an alumnus of the University of Alabama, made a bet with U.S. Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) that the Tide will beat the Bayou Bengals this weekend.

Shelby put up some Conecuh Sausage, made in Evergreen, Alabama, as his wager, while Kennedy wagered Popeye’s spicy fried chicken.

Watch:

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However, Governor Kay Ivey (R-AL) — an Auburn University alumnus, also got in on the fun on Friday.

Reacting to a challenge by Governor John Bel Edwards (D-AL), Ivey wagered a basket of Priesters Pecans on Bama winning.

Edwards has put up some fresh Louisiana seafood on his Tigers prevailing.

In her signature fashion, Ivey expressed confidence that she will be enjoying that seafood soon.

Watch:

The game is set for 2:30 p.m. in Bryant-Denny Stadium and will be televised on CBS.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

5 days ago

Dem Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox on Trump visit: ‘I’m glad he’s coming to our city’

(WH/Flickr, W. Maddox/Facebook, YHN)

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, who was Alabama’s 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee, on Thursday said he is looking forward to ensuring President Donald Trump “has a great visit” when he attends the University of Alabama Crimson Tide’s game against LSU in Bryant-Denny Stadium this Saturday.

Maddox put partisan politics aside, per comments to Alabama Media Group.

“Regardless of party, any time the president comes, it’s an American visit and as an American, I’m glad he’s coming to our city,” Maddox reportedly said.

In the article, Maddox outlined the logistical challenges of a presidential visit on game day, concluding that the historic nature of such a visit outweighs them.

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“This is certainly a huge logistical challenge and this game would have been a logistical challenge without a high-level visit. But I believe it’s an important, historical event and it’s rare and we want everything possible to make the president feel at home in Tuscaloosa,” the mayor advised.

“As Coach Saban says, we all play a role in the process,” he reportedly added. “The city’s role, along with our partners, is to ensure a great weekend and a safe weekend for all our fans and visitors.”

“I look forward to making sure that [President Trump] has a great visit to Tuscaloosa even in the midst of probably the most important college football game all season,” Maddox concluded.

The Tide and Bayou Bengals will kickoff shortly after 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, with the game to be televised on CBS.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

5 days ago

Shelby backs Sessions Senate bid, adds decision is ‘up to the people of Alabama’

(Wikicommons, YHN)

In a Thursday media gaggle on Capitol Hill, U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) was asked about former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions making a run to reclaim his old Senate seat, which is currently held by Senator Doug Jones (D-AL).

Asked by a reporter whether Shelby would endorse Sessions, Shelby responded, “Absolutely. Jeff Sessions is a friend. I worked with him every day up here for 20 years. He’s a man of integrity.”

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“Of course, he’ll have to run his own race,” Shelby continued. “And that’s up to the people of Alabama [to decide]. But I believe he’ll be a formidable candidate.”

Watch, via Roll Call, here.

Sessions made his formal campaign announcement on Thursday evening. He will qualify for the GOP primary on Friday, which is the filing deadline.

Other qualified Republican candidates currently include former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville, Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01), former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, Secretary of State John Merrill and State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs).

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

5 days ago

Jeff Sessions makes U.S. Senate run official — Launches website, announces on Fox News

(Screenshot/YouTube)

For the last couple of months, speculation has been rampant about the possibility of native Alabamian and former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions entering the Republican primary of the 2020 election for the Senate seat he once held.

On Thursday, less than 24 hours before the qualifying deadline, Sessions made it official with an announcement on Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and putting his campaign website online, which featured a video explaining his intentions.

With that, Sessions joins an already-crowded field, which includes former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville, U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope), Secretary of State John Merrill, former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs).

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Despite a very public falling out with President Donald Trump after his tenure heading the Department of Justice, Sessions pledged that he was still loyal to Trump during his appearance on Fox News.

“[I] would like to be able to go to the people of Alabama and tell them with all honesty, I believe in this agenda,” Sessions said. “I was for this agenda before President Trump announced, and I supported it when he was president, when he was running for president. I supported him. And if I return to the senate — no, no senator in the Senate will be more for advancing Trump’s agenda than I would be.”

Shortly before his Fox News appearance, Sessions’ campaign site went online, which included a video of Sessions maintaining he was still loyal to Trump and Trump’s causes.

“When I left President Trump’s cabinet, did I write a tell-all book? No,” Sessions says in the campaign spot. “Did I go on CNN and attack the President? No. Have I said a cross word about President Trump? No. And I’ll 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. As everyone knows, President Trump and I have had our ups and downs. But here’s the important part: the President is doing great work for America.”

Republicans voters will have an opportunity to choose from Sessions and his competitors on March 3, 2020 to determine who will face the likely Democratic Party nominee, incumbent Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook).

Jones reacted to the announcement with a statement provided to Yellowhammer News, suggesting a focus on his opponents and Trump.

“Since Jeff is not running against me at this point, it would seem that folks need to be focused on the reactions of his opponents in the Republican primary and perhaps President Trump’s tweets about him over the last couple of years,” Jones said.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

5 days ago

Exclusive: Donald Trump, Jr. reacts to Sessions entering Senate race, talks about ultimate goal of beating Doug Jones

(Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

HOMEWOOD — Donald Trump, Jr. on Thursday evening attended a packed meet-and-greet event to celebrate the release of his new book, “Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us.”

The Books-A-Million location at Birmingham metro area’s Brookwood Village became filled to capacity 30 minutes before the event even started, as hundreds and hundreds of people lined up to get a copy of the book and visit with “Don Jr.”

Unlike what you see on cable news when national conservative figures attend events in blue-leaning states or in certain coastal hubs, this Alabama book signing event was orderly, calm and upbeat — completely devoid of protesters.

People young and old, men and women of various races and ethnicities, came dressed in “Make America Great Again” attire, giddy to meet the president’s eldest son. A snaking line started forming two hours prior to the event, with the patriotic, overflow crowd spilling well into the rest of the mall after the store reached capacity.

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Trump took time in the midst of signing books and posing for pictures to visit with Yellowhammer News on Thursday, following up an his exclusive interview with us from last week.

The event coincidentally began at almost the same moment former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared on Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” and Yellowhammer News asked Don Jr. what he thought of the former Trump cabinet member entering the GOP primary to reclaim his old Alabama Senate seat.

“I always had a good relationship with Jeff Sessions [when he was attorney general],” Trump, Jr. said. “Obviously there’s some issues in that role (attorney general), he was a very good senator, he was very supportive of us early. I think in that role (attorney general), with those animals, you needed someone tougher in the AG role.”

“Honestly, I’m just going to let it go to the people of Alabama,” he continued.

“I just hope they don’t — I think there’s one candidate that wouldn’t work, and the rest would all be great,” Trump added, referring to former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who lost to now-Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) in the 2017 special election.

“The rest [of the GOP candidates besides Moore] would all probably beat Doug Jones,” he added, “and they all seem like good guys. We’ll leave it to the people for now.”

Referring more to Moore, as he has in the past vocally, Don Jr. outlined, “Anyone could have won that race except for that one [candidate]. There’s a lot of things you can do, you just can’t do that. And that’s totally understandable.”

He also spoke on Jones.

“It’s interesting, I was sort of hopeful that Doug Jones would be a moderate — he’s not,” Trump lamented. “He’s a true liberal. And I don’t think that flies in the long run. So, he’ll have a short lived Senate seat, I think. Again, provided that — primaries can be interesting.”

He also underlined that the main goal for Alabama conservatives in the 2020 Senate race is beating Jones.

“We just need good Republicans in those seats, no unforced errors like last time, and I think that works out well for us,” Trump outlined.

Don Jr. emphasized that it was “great” to be back in Alabama.

“It’s sort of nice, you know — I mean I’m in a bookstore and people are wearing Make America Great Again hats without being beaten to death. So, that’s a plus. The support here is great,” he said.

He praised the crowd, which was estimated at well over 1,000 people, as “awesome.”

“What’s interesting is that there are a lot of young people — meaning teens and early twenties. So, it’s cool to see that side of conservatism, as well,” Trump noted.

While he personally will miss the Bama-LSU game this Saturday due to his book signing tour schedule, Trump noted his father will indeed be in attendance.

“That would have been a lot of fun,” he concluded, saying he wish he could attend the big game, too.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

5 days ago

Tuberville releases video contrasting himself, Sessions, rest of field — ‘Not a career politician’

(T. Tuberville campaign/YouTube)

Former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville’s U.S. Senate campaign on Thursday afternoon released a video ad on social media reminding Alabama voters of what President Donald Trump has said about former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is set to announce a bid for his old Senate seat.

The ad opens with Trump saying his biggest regret as president was appointing Sessions as attorney general and features the president calling Sessions “a disaster” and an “embarrassment to Alabama.”

The video notably comes on the one-year anniversary of Sessions’ forced resignation as attorney general.

One-minute long, the video also has Tuberville personally speaking on the matter, drawing a strong contrast between himself and the rest of the field, including Sessions. Tuberville is the only competitive candidate in the GOP primary who has never before ran for or held elected office.

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“We’ve got one guy in Washington, D.C. fighting and that’s Donald Trump,” Tuberville says in the ad. “The career and establishment politicians — they have proven they can’t get it done in Washington, D.C. Enough is enough. Let’s quit sending them up there.”

“I’m not a career politician. I’m really a politician’s worst nightmare,” he continues. “I want to help Donald Trump fight the swamp, fight the career politicians, fight the guys that have been up there forever and send somebody with common sense, a fresh set of ideas. I’m not looking for a career, I’m looking to help save this country with Donald J. Trump.”

Watch:

The publication of Tuberville’s ad independently followed GRIT PAC the same day releasing an ad attacking Sessions’ entry into the race.

Other qualified GOP candidates in the race as of this writing are Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01), former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, Secretary of State John Merrill and State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs).

Sessions is slated to appear on Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Thursday at approximately 7:00 p.m. CT.

In a statement, Tuberville added, “Jeff Sessions is one of the reasons I decided to get off the sidelines and into the race for Senate. I’m not surprised at all that he’s running again. He’s been out of the swamp for less than two years and now he’s itching to go back.”

“Folks in Alabama know that if we’re going to help President Trump change this country then we’ve got to stop recycling the same old politicians,” he commented. “As Attorney General, Jeff Sessions had his chance to have President Trump’s back and take on the establishment politicians and he failed. I will bring a new voice for Alabama to the Senate and I will always have President Trump’s back.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

5 days ago

Barry Moore makes it official in AL-02 race, joins long list of Alabama candidates touting Trump connection

Contributed

Count Barry Moore in for the campaign to represent Alabama’s Second Congressional District. Also, count Moore in as the next in line to make his support for President Donald Trump the centerpiece of his effort.

Moore qualified on Wednesday to run in the Republican primary for Congress in the southeast Alabama district, according to a statement from his campaign.

The small businessman and former state representative believes his experience in the construction and waste hauling industries provides him a unique perspective in this race.

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“You can tell a lot about a man by looking at his hands,” said Moore. “If you look at my hands, you’ll see calluses, calluses I got from hard work. I think it’s time we had a working man in Congress. I’m running in this election because I want to work for all the people in District 2. From Prattville to Florala, from Autaugaville to Andalusia, from Evergreen to Enterprise, Cottonwood to Wetumpka and Montgomery to Dothan, I want to represent every person in District 2.”

Moore cited his early support for Trump in 2016. According to Moore, he was among the first elected officials in the state to endorse the president.

“We need someone with calluses and courage in Washington, standing up for conservative Alabama values and supporting President Trump,” he remarked. “That’s what I’ll do when I’m elected as District 2’s representative next November.”

The Republican primary for the seat being vacated by Rep. Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) portends to be a hotly contested race among a field of four candidates, none of whom currently hold elected office. In addition to Moore, Prattville businesswoman Jessica Taylor, Dothan businessman Jeff Coleman and former Alabama Attorney General Troy King are running to serve in congress.

Moore and his wife, Heather, reside in Enterprise and have three children.

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia

6 days ago

‘Traitor Jeff’ — New Alabama Senate ad blasts Sessions over Trump

(GRIT PAC)

Yellowhammer News on Thursday obtained the first digital ad by GRIT PAC, an independent expenditure committee supporting former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville for U.S. Senate.

The ad is just in time for former U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions’ entrance into Alabama’s 2020 GOP Senate primary.

Entitled, “Dixie,” the 15-second video ad features a clip of President Donald J. Trump speaking about Sessions’ time as U.S. attorney general. The ad will be rolled out on social media and other digital platforms and target likely Republican primary voters in the Birmingham media market starting on Thursday.

In a statement, GRIT PAC chairman Stan McDonald said, “As Attorney General, Jeff Sessions failed President Trump by recusing himself from the Russian inquiry and completely let President Trump, conservatives, and the state of Alabama down.”

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“His entry into the race is a cooperative effort between himself and the swamp,” he continued. “President Trump has kicked Sessions off of the team and he doesn’t want him back. We cannot trust him to support the America First agenda. There’s only one candidate who will faithfully serve President Trump and deliver results for Alabama, and that’s Coach Tuberville.”

Tuberville nor his own campaign have involvement in GRIT PAC.

Other GOP candidates who have qualified in the race are Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01), former Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, Secretary of State John Merrill and State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs).

View the ad below or here:

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

6 days ago

Exclusive: Byrne details why testimony proves Democrats’ impeachment case ‘would get tossed out in court’

(B. Byrne/Facebook, White House/Flickr)

Republican Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01) has been going through the testimony transcripts released this week from the U.S. House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, and on Thursday Byrne gave his main takeaways exclusively to Yellowhammer News.

“We’ve learned two things this week: career bureaucrats don’t like President Trump and Democrats don’t have a case against him,” the Republican U.S. Senate candidate said.

“Ambassador Yovanovitch was upset that President Trump fired her after rumors she was bad mouthing him,” Byrne outlined. “Is that impeachable? As she agreed under oath, ambassadors serve at the pleasure of the President. Ambassador McKinley wanted Secretary Pompeo to defend Yovanovitch and resigned when he didn’t. Ok, so what?”

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He continued, “One witness, Ambassador Volker, says there was no linkage between White House meetings and the investigations and he knew of no conditions for the release of the funds. He revealed that Ukraine didn’t even know about the funds being on hold until the American press reported it. Volker also testified funds get held up all the time and that neither he nor the Ukrainians ever worried they wouldn’t be released (they eventually were). If this was a quid pro quo it was a bad one.”

“Ambassador Sondland testified that when he questioned Trump about the hold, Trump told him he wasn’t holding them up for a quid pro quo. Democrats made a big deal that Sondland amended his testimony to say he told a Ukrainian staff member that issuing Giuliani’s statement on corruption would help release the funds, but he clearly admitted this was based upon a ‘presumption,’ not any direction from President Trump. Sondland clearly stated he had no idea why the funds were held up and that he still doesn’t know,” Byrne advised.

“Finally, Ambassador Taylor, who claims he had a clear understanding of a quid pro quo, admitted when questioned by Republicans this was all second or third hand — no direct knowledge — some of it even from the New York Times! He never even had a conversation with President Trump, Giuliani or Mulvaney,” he remarked.

Byrne concluded, “This week’s hearsay and speculation would get tossed out in court, but not in the Democrats’ kangaroo impeachment court.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

6 days ago

California’s Kamala Harris raising money for Doug Jones based on Sessions opposition

(Kamala Harris/Contributed, Wikicommons)

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris’ (D-CA) presidential campaign on Wednesday sent out a fundraising email based on former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions preparing to announce a bid to return to the Senate.

While the email solicited funds, it also pledged to split each contribution raised between Harris and U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL), who currently holds Sessions’ former seat.

“Doug Jones is a great Senator, a strong defender of civil rights, and a fighter for the people of Alabama. Let’s re-elect Doug and make sure Jeff Sessions never sets foot on the Senate floor again,” the fundraising pitch said.

The email, signed by Harris herself, accused Sessions of “decades of systemic racism and bigotry,” criticizing him for his time as attorney general.

Harris claimed, “Sessions was the extremist architect of some of this Administration’s most damaging actions.”

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Harris cited Sessions’ hardline anti-illegal immigration stance as a reason for opposing him.

“I fought Jeff Sessions every step of the way, voting against his nomination as Attorney General and calling for his resignation when it became clear he lied under oath to protect the President,” she asserted.

“My friend Doug Jones is a great Senator,” Harris added. “Doug Jones is everything Jeff Sessions is not.”

The email concluded by vaguely thanking donors for stepping up to “defend our democracy and our civil rights.”

Harris also called Sessions an extremist, a phrase that has been used by the Jones campaign on social media and in emails in recent days to bash Sessions’ now-imminent candidacy.

A Wednesday evening Jones campaign email said, “Jeff Sessions is too extreme, too out of touch, and too divisive for Alabama.”

The Jones campaign email called Sessions “hyper-partisan,” adding, “We could go on and on about Sessions’ extreme record. How horrible his record on civil rights is and how divisive he was as Attorney General. You’ll hear a lot about that during this campaign.”

Interestingly, the Jones email used essentially the same wording as the Harris fundraising pitch at one point, remarking, “Let’s make sure Jeff Sessions never sets foot in the U.S. Senate again.”

The Harris fundraising help comes as Californians continue to comprise Jones’ biggest donor base.

In the past three quarters, Jones raised 77%, 88% and 88%, respectively, of his individual itemized contributions from outside the state of Alabama.

New Yorkers have been Jones’ second-largest collective source of funding.

Sessions will enter a crowded primary field led by former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville, Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01), former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, Secretary of State John Merrill and State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs).

The qualifying deadline for Alabama’s GOP primary is Friday at 5:00 p.m. CT.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

6 days ago

Trump confirms Bama-LSU attendance: ‘That’ll be tremendous — two great teams’

(WH/Flickr)

At a Republican campaign rally in Monroe, Louisiana, on Wednesday evening, President Donald Trump officially confirmed he will attend the University of Alabama Crimson Tide’s game against LSU this Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

While encouraging Louisiana conservatives to participate in early voting, the last day of which is Saturday, Trump briefly commented on the matchup between Bama and the Bayou Bengals.

“This Saturday I’m going to be at a certain game,” he told the raucous crowd, who began chanting “LSU, LSU, LSU.”

“Let’s see, it’s LSU versus a pretty good team from Alabama,” Trump added, with the mention of Nick Saban’s current team drawing loud boos from the crowd.

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“And I hear — and I’m a football fan — I hear you have a great quarterback, we’re going to see,” he continued.

This came after LSU star quarterback Joe Burrow this week said of Trump’s planned attendance, “You know, regardless of your political views, that’s pretty cool having the president at the game.”

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, [the] president at the game is pretty cool,” Burrow added.

At the rally, Trump also said, “I’m actually going to the game. I said, ‘That’s the game I want to go to.’ So, that’ll be tremendous — two great teams. Two great teams. And I look forward to [it].”

Watch:

RELATED: Saban on Trump attending Bama-LSU game: ‘It’s an honor’

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

6 days ago

Sessions to appear Thursday on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight,’ expected to announce Senate bid

(G. Skidmore/Flickr)

With former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions set to announce a bid for his old Alabama Senate seat, a source directly familiar confirmed to Yellowhammer News that he will appear Thursday on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

The popular show is broadcast live each weeknight at 7:00 p.m. CT.

Multiple outlets late Wednesday afternoon reported that Sessions is set to announce his campaign sometime on Thursday.

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A source has informed Yellowhammer News that Sessions’ general consultant will be Curt Anderson of On Message, Inc. This was also reported independently by The Hill.

Anderson did not immediately return Yellowhammer’s call requesting confirmation on Wednesday.

The qualifying deadline for Alabama’s 2020 GOP Senate primary is 5:00 p.m. CT on Friday.

Current qualified candidates include former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville, Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01), former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, Secretary of State John Merrill and State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs).

Sessions’ appearance on the Fox News primetime show Thursday will come at the same time that Donald Trump, Jr. is in Birmingham holding a book signing/meet and greet event.

President Donald Trump is planning on attending the University of Alabama Crimson Tide’s home game against LSU this Saturday.

While Sessions was the first prominent elected official across the country to support Trump’s 2016 candidacy, the president soured on Sessions while he was attorney general, leading to his forced resignation last year.

This will certainly be a major focal point of Alabama’s Senate primary, which will become nationalized due to the public nature of the spat.

Sessions’ imminent primary opponents have not been shy to point this out publicly and privately.

On Wednesday evening, Byrne told Yellowhammer News in a statement, “From the Mueller investigation to this impeachment sham, President Trump has been under constant attack. I won’t sit back and watch them destroy our country. Alabama deserves a Senator who will stand with the President and won’t run away and hide from the fight.”

Tuberville previously told Fox Business’ Stuart Varney, “He (Sessions) had a chance to help President Trump, and he failed him once. We don’t need him to fail him again.”

“If the voters of Alabama want a career politician as their next U.S. Senator, then they have plenty of choices,” Tuberville also stated. “If they want a political outsider who will actually stand with President Trump and fight the DC establishment when it matters the most, then I am the only choice.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn