Sessions, who gave up the “safest” Senate seat in the country to be Attorney General during the Trump administration, was the first Senator to endorse Trump during the primaries.
Now, many conservatives are taking a stand against the president by standing behind Sessions.
While speculation arose that Republican Senator Ted Cruz was in the running to replace Sessions, Cruz himself called the rumors false, and called Sessions a “principled conservative.”
“Jeff Sessions is a friend and a strong conservative. I was proud to vote to confirm Jeff and to vigorously defend his confirmation, and I’m deeply gratified that we have a principled conservative like Jeff Sessions serving as Attorney General,” Cruz said in a Monday night statement.
“The stories being reported in the media tonight are false,” he continued. “My focus is and will remain on fighting every day to defend 28 million Texans in the US Senate.”
Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) echoed these sentiments.
“I’ve worked with Jeff Sessions for years, and while we certainly may not agree on the specifics of every issue, I believed he would be a great Attorney General because of his unwavering commitment to the rule of law,” Tillis said. “In the nearly six months he has led the Department of Justice, he has maintained that commitment every day and demonstrated why he was widely respected during his years as a U.S. Senator.”
“While some may argue that he should not have recused himself from the Russia investigation, Attorney General Sessions demonstrated good judgment by doing so and removed all appearances of a potential conflict. The Attorney General’s recusal was ultimately made in the best interests of the Department of Justice and the country.”
“Following eight years of organizational and accountability issues plaguing the Department of Justice, Attorney General Sessions’ leadership is needed now more than ever,” he concluded.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called President Trump’s tweets criticizing Sessions “highly innapropriate.”
“Jeff Sessions is one of the most decent people I’ve ever met in my political life,” Graham said. “He’s a rock-solid conservative, but above all else he believes in the rule of law. Jeff understands that we are a nation of laws, not men. On occasion, I’ve vigorously disagreed with Jeff but I’ve never once doubted his integrity or sense of fair play.”
“President Trump’s tweet today suggesting Attorney General Sessions pursue prosecution of a former political rival is highly inappropriate. Prosecutorial decisions should be based on applying facts to the law without hint of political motivation. To do otherwise is to run away from the long-standing American tradition of separating the law from politics regardless of party.”
Former Senator Jim DeMint also defended Sessions, calling him a “great leader.”