GOP senators back Sessions amid Trump attacks
President Trump was up early on Tuesday morning to tweet about his current distaste for Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
As President Trump continued to attack his attorney general, former Senate colleagues stepped up to defend Jeff Sessions on Tuesday.
Sen. Lindsey Graham called Sessions, who served in the Senate for 20 years, "one of the most decent people I've ever met in my political life."
"He's a rock solid conservative, but above else, he believes in the rule of law," the South Carolina lawmaker said in a statement. "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."
Trump tweeted on Tuesday that Sessions had taken a "weak position" on Democrat Hillary Clinton. His latest attack comes on the day that the Senate is to vote on repealing Obamacare, even as Republicans have seemingly failed to garner enough support.
Graham called Trump's tweet "highly inappropriate."
"Prosecutorial decisions should be based on applying facts of the law without hint of political motivation," Graham said. "To do otherwise is to run away from the long-standing American tradition of separating the law from politics regardless of party."
Sen. Richard Shelby, who represented Alabama alongside Session for decades, said he believed Sessions was a "man of integrity, loyalty, and extraordinary character and that the attorney general had "my deep respect and unwavering support."
Sen. Luther Strange, who took Sessions' seat after Sessions became attorney general, called Sessions a "man of utmost integrity."
"his example of leadership inspired me to run for public office in Alabama, and continues to merit the admiration of his team at DOJ, his former colleagues in the Senate, and the people of our great state," he said in a statement. "Jeff and President Trump are trying to make America great again, and it's a privilege to work alongside both to accomplish the Trump agenda for the American people, and we need to stop letting the media distract us from that agenda."
One of Trump's main criticisms of Sessions has been Sessions recusing himself from the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina said Sessions had demonstrated good judgment by doing so.
"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 a statement. "...Following eight years of organizational and accountability issues plaguing the Department of Justice, Attorney General Sessions' leadership is needed now more than ever."
Another former colleague, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, echoed these comments.
"We may not agree on every policy issue, but I believe he always has the best interests of our country at heart," he said in a statement.
Sen. Tom Cotton said he thought the American people were "fortunate" that Sessions was the attorney general.
"Jeff is working to keep our streets safe, secure our borders and enforce our immigration laws, and protect our nation," he said in a statement.