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Report: Alabama conservatives want Trump to stop attacking Sessions

To coincide with Attorney General Jeff Sessions being in downtown Mobile Friday for the dedication of the new federal courthouse building, CNN asked locals how they feel about President Donald Trump’s recent public and alleged private attacks on the former Alabama Senator.

Besides Trump’s frequent open criticisms of Sessions for recusing himself from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and for not prosecuting Trump’s political foes, the president had to deny allegations, which he called “lies,” from Watergate reporter Bob Woodward’s new book this past week that he called Sessions “mentally retarded” and a “dumb Southerner” who could not even be a country Alabama lawyer.

Trump, however, did not specifically deny allegations from the same book that he called Sessions “a traitor.” This came days after Politico utilized unnamed “aides” to report that Sessions was close to being fired because Trump made fun of his southern accent and Alabama education.

For Trump’s supporters, and Sessions’ former constituents, the attacks are getting old – especially as they get more personal.

The CNN report from Alabama says, “Folks around here look out for their own. They don’t like the way the president is now treating the attorney general.”


A longtime friend of Sessions, Diana Whitehead, said, “Jeff is a patriot. He loves this country.”

Sessions, ever the loyal soldier, praised Trump at the unveiling ceremony for the new courthouse while standing up for the proper role of both the Department of Justice and the judiciary in America.

“I am so proud of President Trump and the judges he is nominating to our courts. Justice Gorsuch and now Judge Kavanaugh symbolize the qualities of integrity, legal skill, and judicial restraint,” Sessions said, per NBC 15.

He added, “[T]he rule of law is not about ideology. Ideology is not law. It is much closer to politics than law. And, politics is the opposite of law.”

Sessions was in Mobile with his former colleague in the Senate, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) – who now is the powerful chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Their combined work in the Senate made the new project possible.

Per the Lagniappe in Mobile, Shelby was instrumental in securing $101 million in funding needed to erect the new courthouse. Those dollars will also fund a significant renovation of the John Archibald Campbell Courthouse next door.

“This is more than a building,” Shelby said of the new facility. “This is a symbol of the strength of America and its judicial system.”

Shelby came to Sessions’ defense after the most egregious alleged comments from Trump came to light this past week.

“I think Sessions is a very smart man and a man of integrity,” Shelby told reporters in Washington.

Rep. Gary Palmer (AL-6) also recently defended Sessions’s job performance as Attorney General, and Secretary of State John Merrill and state Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) on Wednesday defended Sessions against Trump’s attacks to the New Yorker.

Shelby, well before Trump denied the accusations, also made it clear that he questioned the details of Woodward’s reporting.

“I think the president’s probably got a lot of respect for the South … He did well there. Without the South he wouldn’t be the President of the United States,” Shelby explained.

Alabamian and Trump voter Mark Dodson told CNN, “It’s upsetting. And very discouraging that [President Trump] would do that – if in fact he did that.”

“In Washington, who can you believe?” Dodson added.

Read more about Mobile’s new courthouse facility here.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

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