Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) is not rebutting a revelation made Monday morning by State Rep. John Rogers (D-Birmingham) that Jones, while publicly condemning him, privately admitted he agreed with Rogers’ viral abortion remarks.
Rogers said Jones called him on the phone after the comments began making waves nationally.
In an interview with Alabama Media Group’s Roy Johnson, Jones did not deny saying Rogers was “right” regarding what he said about abortion.
“This is a very emotional issue for John. I understand that. I’m disappointed he made our private conversation public,” Jones lamented.
This was in response to Rogers’ interview on the “Matt & Aunie Show” earlier that day.
“[H]e called me twice. He told me, ‘John, I know you’re right but I [have] to come out against you,’” Rogers shared.
In the second phone call, which occurred after Rogers dug himself a further hole with shocking comments about Donald Trump, Jr., Rogers outlined that Jones berated him, mad that Rogers was hurting him politically.
“‘John, John, John, be quiet — shut up. [You’re] killin’ me, [you’re] killin’ me,’” Rogers shared.
“You don’t chastise me, holler at me like that,” Rogers added. “He issued an apology for me. I told Doug Jones, I said, ‘bye.’ I’m not talking to you, we don’t have to talk anymore. Because I don’t appreciate that… you don’t chastise me… hollering and shouting because I’m hurting your re-election.”
In the radio interview, Rogers said Jones “was” a good friend rather than “is” a friend after what happened.
Jones has also defended Rogers against multiple federal public corruption cases going back to 1989 and as recent as 2010. Rogers has never been found guilty of a crime with Jones as his attorney.
“I’m not going to engage in a verbal jousting match with John Rogers,” Jones reportedly told Johnson. “I was incredibly disappointed in John’s comments. He and I have been friends for a long time; he’s been a client. I called because I had to say something to publicly condemn his remarks. I thought they were horrible and out of line and did not represent his constituents, no less the state of Alabama.”
“I called a second time when he doubled down and started offending the disability community across the state. I think he owes the people of state of Alabama an apology. No public official should make those kinds of statements. That kind of language is not the kind we have to have in order to have dialogues rather than monologues we have in this state,” the senator outlined.
Jones added, “But you can’t a get word in edgewise sometimes with John. [He] did most of the talking. I couldn’t hardly get in a word. A lot of people attacked John, but I’m the only one who called and gave him a heads up.”
The longtime state representative is even considering a primary challenge to Jones now.
“I was ready to give [to his campaign],” Rogers told Johnson, saying Jones “upset me so bad.”
“I don’t want to run [against Jones]. I’ve got to raise a million dollars,” Rogers remarked. “If I raise a million, I’ll run; I can run a million-dollar campaign. If I’m [going to] run, I’ll run to win.”
Rogers stipulated that he will “know in the two or three weeks whether I’ll run.”
Jones again begged off, only responding, “I don’t comment on any potential opponents.”
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn