It is how he first signaled his support to the world for then-candidate Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2015. And now, Jeff Sessions is putting a trademark red “Make America Great Again” hat on once again to try and prove he is still with the president.
In a new video posted on social media Thursday, the former U.S. attorney general first shows a clip of himself and Trump next to each other on stage at a February 2016 rally in Madison, Alabama — both wearing MAGA hats.
While Sessions has since had his difficulties staying in Trump’s good graces, the native Alabamian wants voters — and the president — to know that his loyalty has never wavered.
Entitled, “First to Endorse,” the U.S. Senate campaign video essentially argues that Sessions supported Trump before it was “cool.”
“You know, out of the 100 United States senators, I was the very first one to stand with Donald Trump,” Sessions says in the video. “While the others were hiding under their desks, I went to work. I knew he was the one to make America great again, and I’ll keep fighting for President Trump and his agenda.”
The video will be Sessions’ first television ad of the cycle. An ad buy has already been placed statewide on Fox News Channel and will begin on Friday, running for 10 days.
A Sessions campaign senior adviser told Yellowhammer News, “Obviously it’s a fun stunt with the hat. And obviously Sessions is having fun with it. But another part of the ad is important and should not be missed – ‘while the others were hiding under their desks, I went to work, I knew he was the one… I’ll keep fighting for him and his agenda.’ Sessions is a brawler in the US Senate. He’s not a ‘go along to get along type.'”
“He was pushing the Trump agenda before it was cool,” the adviser continued, before highlighting a quote of Sessions’: “The Washington Way is to write a tell all book. The Washington Way is not the honorable way, it’s not the Alabama way.”
The adviser concluded, “Sessions believes that Republicans in Congress are not fighting hard enough for the President’s agenda. He believes we need much more backbone and boldness in the U.S. Senate. He has said those things on the stump in Alabama this week.”
The ad comes in the wake of former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville’s campaign last week releasing a video ad featuring some of Trump’s past criticism of Sessions’ performance as attorney general.
A separate but similarly-themed video from GRIT PAC was also released last week, and another one of Sessions’ GOP primary opponents — Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01) — has been vocal in highlighting Trump’s pejorative comments about Sessions, too.
Other Republican candidates in the Senate race include former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, Secretary of State John Merrill and State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs).
Sessions, after being forced by Trump to resign as attorney general in November 2018, has not uttered a bad word about the president in public, consistently saying he still supports Trump and his agenda in speeches since then. Yellowhammer News in February even reported on Sessions enthusiastically endorsing Trump’s 2020 reelection bid.
Thus far, Trump has stayed neutral in Alabama’s Senate primary, saying he would not campaign against Sessions at this time. Trump also noted, “You have some very good candidates… 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.”
Sessions has since said he hopes to earn Trump’s endorsement in the race.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn