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Conservatives Have Concerns About Sessions As Trump’s Attorney General

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Conservatives Have Concerns About Sessions As Trump’s Attorney General

Concerns over Sessions as Attorney General

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President-elect Donald Trump on Friday named his earliest and staunchest supporter in the Senate, conservative Republican Jeff Sessions, to become the next U.S. attorney general, triggering an outcry from civil rights groups as well as some conservatives outside Congress who are uneasy about Sessions’ positions.

If approved for the job by a simple majority in the Republican-dominated Senate, Sessions, 69, would lead the Justice Department and the FBI. He brings a record of controversial positions on race, immigration and criminal justice reform that Democrats may target.

Ana Navarro, a Republican strategist and Trump critic, said on Twitter, “Jeff Sessions, considered too racist to be a judge in the 80’s, is Trump’s AG.”

Holly Harris, executive director of U.S. Justice Action Network, a sentencing reform advocacy group that includes powerful conservative tax reform lobbyist Grover Norquist, said Sessions’ nomination “obviously presents a challenge.”

Sessions has opposed lowering mandatory minimum sentences for low-level offenders.

Many civil rights and immigration groups also have concerns about Sessions with the American Civil Liberties Union saying his positions on gay rights, capital punishment, abortion rights and presidential authority in times of war should be examined.

Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, told Reuters: “Our nation deserves an attorney general who will be committed to enforcement of our nation’s civil rights laws and who will not turn the clock back on progress that has been made.”

Sessions’ office did not respond to a request for comment on his nomination or criticism.


Sessions was a federal prosecutor in 1986 when he became only the second nominee in 50 years to be denied confirmation as a federal judge. This came after allegations that he had made racist remarks, including testimony that he had called an African-American prosecutor “boy,” an allegation Sessions denied.

Sessions said he was not a racist but he said at his hearing that groups such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the American Civil Liberties Union could be considered “un-American.” He also acknowledged he had called the Voting Rights Act of 1965 a “piece of intrusive legislation.”

Sessions, a four-term senator from Alabama, has friends on Capitol Hill. Convivial, with a pixie-like demeanor and soft Southern accent, his gentle manner belies his hard-line positions.

Democratic Senator Jack Reed described Sessions this way: “He’s someone I’ve worked with closely. He’s very honest, very decent, great integrity.”

No members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will hold Sessions’ confirmation hearing, had expressed outright opposition to his nomination as of Friday morning but many Democrats said he would get a thorough and tough confirmation hearing.

“Given some of his past statements and his staunch opposition to immigration reform, I am very concerned about what he would do with the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice and want to hear what he has to say,” said Charles Schumer, the newly elected Democratic Senate leader.


The Justice Department under Democratic President Barack Obama has been criticized for siding with protesters over police in matters of racial profiling or unlawful use of force. His Justice Department opened investigations of 23 police departments around the country for patterns of civil rights violations and Session, as attorney general, would have the discretion to drop investigations that are still open.

Jim Pasco, the executive director of Fraternal Order of Police, the nation’s largest police union, said police have had a good relationship working with Sessions, especially on policies that allow police to keep assets seized from criminals.

“The door (to Sessions) has been open and we expect it to remain open,” Pasco said.

Sessions’ hard-line and at times inflammatory statements on immigration are similar to Trump’s but have angered other members of Congress. He opposes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and was an enthusiastic backer of Trump’s promise to build a wall on the border with Mexico.

As a senator, Sessions opposed Obama’s nomination of Loretta Lynch as attorney general on the grounds that she would carry out an Obama immigration policy that shielded many undocumented immigrants from deportation.

Sessions also has questioned the 14th Amendment, which guarantees citizenship to everyone born in the United States, and opposes plans to admit more immigrants from war-torn Middle Eastern countries.

As attorney general, Sessions would be able to turn more to state governments to enforce federal immigration laws.

He also could increase enforcement on companies that outsource technology jobs. As a senator, Sessions criticized U.S. companies that brought guest workers to the United States on temporary visas.

Sessions first endorsed Trump’s presidential bid in February, surprising those who had expected him to embrace Texas Senator Ted Cruz, a fellow Southerner and the favorite of the chamber’s most conservative wing.

Sessions was Trump’s only backer in the Senate for months and became a powerful member of his inner circle. He has led Trump’s national security committee since March and was named vice chairman of the transition’s executive committee last week.

Sessions defended Trump in October when a leaked video showed him bragging about groping women, leading dozens of Republican officials to drop their support.

(Additional reporting by Phil Stewart, Mica Rosenberg and Julia Harte; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh, John Walcott and Bill Trott)

IMAGE: U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) waves to the crowd as he speaks at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo



  1. jim muster November 18, 2016

    Draining the swamp with red neck bigots. It’s going to be a long 4 years. Sorry america

    1. dpaano November 18, 2016

      Yeah, he’s “draining the swamp” very nicely. Actually, most of the stuff that’s being drained is showing up in his cabinet or on his transition team. What happened to his comment that he wasn’t going to hire any lobbyists or Wall Street thugs? That’s about ALL he’s hired so far! It’s interesting tho’, that you don’t hear a peep about this turnaround from any of his followers. Apparently, they’d follow him into the swamp before they’d admit that they made a mistake!

      1. dbtheonly November 18, 2016

        Did you see the news article?

        If The Leader has all Muslims register; the head of the Jewish Anti-Defamation League is going to register as well.

        1. dpaano November 18, 2016

          I think we ALL should register just to totally screw them up!!! I’m going to register!!

          1. dbtheonly November 18, 2016

            Rather, it’s the right thing to do when any minority is singled out for abuse. We’re all a minority in one way or another. We’re all Americans. What happens to one happens to all.

          2. dpaano November 21, 2016

            I just watched a National Geographic documentary about their Genome study……unfortunately for most Republicans, we ALL came from a single man and woman originating in Africa. And, we ALL have an African gene in our DNA somewhere! I bet the KKK and the other white supremacists will deny that big time, but then again, they’re idiots!!!

          3. dbtheonly November 21, 2016

            Indeed. We’re all African-Americans. It’s just a matter of how far removed. Which, parenthetically, is part of why I dislike the term, “African-American”. It is, at the same time both too narrow and too broad.

            I’ll admit to being a racist. What benefits humans is good. I’ll eat cow, pig, and chicken. Dogs die to further study of medicines for humas? I’ve got no problem.

            100 years ago we had dozens of races, Slavic, Latin, Nordic, & such. 50 years ago we had four. Can’t we just admit that there’s one race, human?

          4. dpaano November 21, 2016

            No, not ALL of us are African Americans….but, we ALL have the African gene in our DNA from the very beginning of time. And, yes, I agree…..we ARE just one human race, but you can’t seem to convince Trump and his cohorts or his followers!!

      2. Box November 18, 2016

        He didnt hire lobbyists. Chris Christie hired lobbyists and he was sacked along with his 20 hires. So?

        And, I said that I voted for Obama but didnt like his appointments but we have no choice about who a president appoints. When Obama appointed Eric Holder, I never would say voting for Obama was therefore a mistake, id say the appointment was.

        1. I Am Helpy November 19, 2016

          How much does Putin pay you for this nonsense?

    2. dbtheonly November 18, 2016

      It’s not my fault.

    3. Box November 18, 2016

      Hey it was a long EIGHT.

      1. I Am Helpy November 19, 2016

        Yeah, and all we have to show for it is, uh, the end of a Republican-caused recession, the highest wages ever, low crime, a low deficit, and a massively improved healthcare system.

        1. dpaano November 21, 2016

          Give it time…..we’ll have it back in a year or so once Trump gets going full bore!

  2. Otto T. Goat November 18, 2016

    Real conservatives are happy with the pick.

    1. bobnstuff November 18, 2016

      No they aren’t. At the very most they are taking a wait and see attitude.

      So another Washington insider. A person who has made racist statements as the AG. So much for draining the swamp. Remember Trump isn’t a real conservative.

    2. The lucky one November 18, 2016

      Know any?

      1. dbtheonly November 18, 2016

        Yes. Real Conservatives are the ones who support The Leader in his labor to restore America to its former greatness.

        In logic, it’s called the “No True Scotsman”; but it works the same way. You define the term in relation to the outcome. Real Conservatives support The Leader. Therefore anyone who doesn’t love Big Brother isn’t a Real Conservative.

        Appalling logic, but pretty common in the RWMO.

        1. bobnstuff November 18, 2016

          Sorry but I fear you don’t even know what a true conservative is. You will get a chance once Trump is in the White House. They will be the ones blocking everything he tries to do. Remember the Tea Party? Do you remember what they stand for? It’s not seeing how much you can spend. You must remember that Trump isn’t a true conservative.

          1. dbtheonly November 18, 2016


            You’ve jumped into the same logical fallacy. Defining your terms in relationship to outcome.

            But: put up or shut up time.

            At some time Trump will ask Congress to authorize the spending for his fence/wall. I will give $10 to my local homeless shelter, for every Republican Senator who votes against it if you’ll give $1 for everyone who votes for it.

          2. bobnstuff November 18, 2016

            He will get a fence which we already have on half the border. The wall will never be voted on. If it does make it to a vote in the Senate you are on. One this we know about Trump is money means nothing to him. He has gotten himself into jams over and over again because he over spent. Congress will put the brakes on him as fast as a New York minute.

          3. dbtheonly November 18, 2016

            I’ll cover that one too, though exact definitions will be hard to measure. Perhaps pick someone here to judge?

            Trump and the Republicans in Congress will not dissolve into acrimony and obstruction before July. (Just to put a time limit on it)

          4. bobnstuff November 18, 2016

            I figure Trump will get about a month maybe two but it’s not just Trump at play here, remember the Republicans haven’t changed and they don’t play well together. You figure the republicans have had control of both houses for two years now and they are about to set a record for the least productive Congress in history. They need to pass forty bill before the end of the year not to get that title. They are running out of Post Offices to rename.

          5. dbtheonly November 18, 2016

            Yes, the Ronald Reagan Post Office is now distinguished by town.

            I am willing to wager that we’ve heard the last of deficits for four years. I’m willing to wager they’ll be no government shutdowns over the debt ceiling.

            The Republicans don’t play well with others. They play with themselves just fine.

          6. The lucky one November 20, 2016

            “The Republicans don’t play well with others. They play with themselves just fine.” I seem to recall a few years back how Gingrich engineered a takeover of congress. At the first faltering step his colleagues gutted him and he hasn’t been much more than a talking head since then.

          7. dpaano November 21, 2016

            Agreed….he was the one that pitted the Republicans against the Democrats and told them they could no longer socialize with each other. IF any Republican was caught socializing with a Democrat, they would be censured! It’s because of him that we’ve had problems “reaching across the aisle” to get anything accomplished. I sincerely HOPE that Trump doesn’t give him a place in his administration or we’ll just continue to see the same thing, only worse! He may end up censuring some of his own!

          8. dpaano November 21, 2016

            Let’s hope so…..I’m keeping my fingers crossed that those Republican senators that opposed his candidacy will stand up against him when he goes too far, but then again, there’s always the Executive Orders! He’ll go crazy putting those out right and left! What will be funny is that many Republicans complained about President Obama and his use of the EO’s, but he didn’t use many of them…..I’m anxious to see how many Trump dishes out and what the outcome will be!

        2. The lucky one November 19, 2016

          Too many on both sides take the position you described so well. Helpy is an example here of such a person on the Democrat side.

          1. dbtheonly November 19, 2016

            I wouldn’t be too hard on Helpy. He’s a good guy. There were many better examples among the BernieBros, where they saw no difference between Hillary & GW Bush.

            More, it’s the attitude that the other side is the ultimate evil. Any compromise is selling out. We can’t have a functioning society under those terms.

            Regrettably, Trump is pushing me into that position. How can I compromise on national registration for Muslims? What middle ground is there for privatizing Social Security? How do we find a third way in banning Muslim immigrants? What rights do we agree away in “fixing” the voting rights act?

    3. I Am Helpy November 19, 2016

      Neo-Nazis like yourself are not “real conservatives” – they are traitors.

      I hope that helps!

  3. stephen bodwell November 18, 2016

    Who the hell is he going to nominate next? David Duke?

    1. dpaano November 18, 2016

      Don’t give him any brilliant ideas!!!

  4. Berni Paik-Apau November 18, 2016

    Republican congress concerned? Doubt it very much. They will just put him in along with any appointment Trump makes even if bad for the country and hope they can survive the “storm” that’s sure to come. There will come a time when even those who supported him will realize their mistake. There will also be those who will continue to support him because he gives them fuel to continue racism and bigotry. By the way, to all the white middle class who felt they were left out – there is a larger middle class that suffered just as much or more under the Republican controlled congress. You blame the Democrat establishment but the establishment that kept help from you and everyone else in America was the Republican controlled congress who actually has more power than the President. You just put that establishment back into congress, the white house and soon the supreme court. Remember that Republicans, not Democrats, were in power the past six years. And to think you actually believed the lies they told you about the “establishment”. Don’t hold your breath waiting for help to come your way. Like the rest of us disenfranchised middle class it is going to be a looooong wait.

    1. dpaano November 18, 2016

      Thanks, Berni, I agree with you wholeheartedly! The Trump followers kept saying that they were dissatisfied with our government, but they failed to realize that it was the Congress that was behind all the problems that they suffered, not the Democrats, and they just re-elected the same group again to continue their damage to this country! There WILL come a time when they will figure out that they made the biggest mistake of their lives……hopefully, it won’t be as bad as it seems now, but I don’t hold out much hope. In the meantime, we’re in the middle of an “imperial” government, run solely by the Republicans. They’ve taken over most of the state governorships, soon the Supreme Court, the Congress, the Senate, the House, and whatever else! There will be nothing good done for this nation…..they only care for the party line! The fact that Hillary won the popular vote tells you that the majority of people of this nation did NOT want Trump in the White House….unfortunately, we’re now stuck with him and his sleezy cohorts!

  5. rednekokie November 18, 2016

    I doubt if any actual republicans have any problems with approving this numb-nuts bigot. He’ll do exactly as they have wanted all along. To get rid of everyone except them.

  6. jmprint November 18, 2016

    Just watching his wave (hi-hitler style) sends shock waves down my spine. Never have liked this poor excuse of a human being, not going to like him any better after he becomes jester to the clown in the white house.

  7. dpaano November 18, 2016

    Actually, I’m concerned about ALL of Trump’s choices…..all of them are racist, homophobic, and I could go on and on! It’s scary to think what this nation will go through in the next 4 years! We can only hope that the Democrats in the Senate and the House can stop some of these individuals from doing the damage that they’re considering!!!

    1. dbtheonly November 18, 2016

      Well yes, welcome to the Trump Administration.

      I’m not as hopeful as you in the ability to prevent any of these appointments. Even if this one is successfully opposed; there’s another, just as bad, ready to be put forward.

      1. dpaano November 18, 2016

        Agree….seems that every one that he chooses is worse that the previous one! It just gets worse and worse every day with every choice! Unfortunately, all I have is hope…..not sure how much, but I can’t dwell on the thought of having NO hope.
        As a note, I just read that Trump “settled” his Trump U case in the New York court for $25M, but he still has more law suits pending on Trump U.

        1. dbtheonly November 18, 2016

          Saw that on BBC, once you told me to look for it. Now let’s see if Trump stuffs them (again).

          You know my opinion on hope. We don’t even have Obi-Wan Kenobi.

  8. S1AMER November 18, 2016

    If it’s Sessions or any other Trump appointee, you’re probably wise to assume the worst.

  9. Box November 18, 2016

    1) I voted for Obama but didnt like his appointments especially the AGs. Thats how it goes. Maybe one day the candidates can put up the entire slate and thats what we get to vote on.

    2) This article and comments is part of a repeating pattern, that when Obama brought out the further-left, it brought out the further-right in response. If Obama had been a moderate then someone like Trump wouldnt have been attractive and Jeb Bush might have been the candidate to oppose. The more far left you go, the more far right the answer and here we are on the field of extremes opposing each other. The request of the far left for calm, sensible, moderate and compromising appointments (and even president) will go nowhere in the climate of what we have had for eight years. There is nothing to complain about, we reap what we sow.

    1. carmen.bise November 18, 2016

      After 5 yrs I finally abandoned my office job and i couldn’t be happier now… I started working online, over a site I stumbled upon on-line, for several hrs daily, and I make much more than i did on my previous work… My last month paycheck was for 9k dollars… The best thing about this gig is that now i have more free time for my loved ones… http://chilp.it/8d93f4b

    2. I Am Helpy November 19, 2016

      OK thanks for the gibberish and bizarre views.

      1. dbtheonly November 19, 2016

        I’m still trying to figure out the President Obama as the “further left”. Admittedly terms like “left”, “right”, “liberal”, “conservative” are not defineable but merely comparative; but, by any reasonable measure, President Obama is a centrist.

        Next, there’s the obvious absurdity that the far right was a response to President Obama. The far right has been around at least 50 years as a political force.

        1. I Am Helpy November 19, 2016

          I mislike the term centrist, but yeah – I cannot imagine how far right you’d have to be to imagine that he’s anything other than a moderate liberal.

    3. Sand_Cat November 19, 2016

      Yep. We’re sure you voted for Obama. And you have lots of black friends, right?
      You post is on a par with all the other absurdities you’ve graced us with: talk about the non-existent American “far left,” using them as an excuse for your own and other lunatics’ far right views, etc.
      The problem is that you’re so far to the right that just about anyone who is sane and rational is likely far to the left of you.

  10. Jon November 18, 2016

    Trump is brilliant. He’s very smart you know. People say he is the smartest. Many really smart people say he is the smartest person they know. Appointing white supremacist and propagandist Stephen Bannon as Chief Strategist and Senior Counsel made sure Robert and Rebekah Mercer could keep a close watch on their newly purchased president-elect. He will show them he was worth every million dollars they paid for him. Like appointing lifelong racist Jeff Sessions Attorney General. Do you want voting rights or civil rights enforced? Do you want regulations meant to protect people from abuses by banks and corporations or meant to protect the environment by cleaning the air and purifying the water enforced? Do you want hate crimes to be prosecuted? If you want any of those things, you don’t want Sessions as the chief law enforcement officer in America.
    Trump single-handedly forced Bill Ford to leave the production of Lincoln vehicles in Kentucky and not move the factory to Mexico. Trump owed it to the people of Kentucky who gave him the popular vote there. They knew Trump would never lie to or try to con them. That Ford never had any plans to move the factory from Kentucky to Mexico was irrelevant and there was no need to tell them that. The guy is brilliant.

    1. dpaano November 21, 2016

      True, kinda strange brilliance to me. Jon, Trump THOUGHT that he had forced Ford not to move their factory to Mexico. They never planned on moving anything to Mexico or closing ANY of their factories in Kentucky. All they were doing was opening a facility in Mexico to take over the manufacturing of their smaller cars and then revamping the U.S. factories to handle the bigger trucks and SUV’s. They told Trump this several times when he kept telling his followers this, and now he sent out a tweet saying that it was because of him that they are keeping their factories in Kentucky. As you said, just another con from the ultimate con artist! And, in talking to some Republicans that I know, they believe every word that he’s tweeted even when you show them the articles in the LA. Times that clearly state that Bill Ford told Trump that they had NO intention of closing or moving any of their U.S. factories or laying off ANY of their employees! It amazes me at the things his followers believe even when they’re given proof to the contrary.
      I even mentioned to them that he was “draining the swamp” alright….despite his promises to his followers that he wasn’t going to hire any lobbyists or Wall Streeters, he’s doing just that! As usual, they didn’t believe a word that I said…..not sure where they’re getting their news, but it isn’t from valid newspapers!!!

      1. Jon November 21, 2016

        The problem is that they believe the 1st pro-Trump “news” they get whether it comes from their Glorious Leader, one of his minions, one of his suckers in the general public, or Fox news and other fake news sites, they can’t un-believe what they 1st heard. As Kellyanne Conway said when asked about the fake story on Fox that claimed Hillary was about to be indicted, she laughed and said well the news got out there didn’t it. Cognitive dissonance can be a powerful thing.

  11. Aaron_of_Portsmouth November 19, 2016

    Conservatives have far more to worry about than this unstable man. The stain of racism has darkened more of the pages of Conservative ideology now that Trump is installing a coterie of staunchly conservative males.
    A wedge of divisiveness is being driven more deeply in America’s soul.

  12. laraskelly November 20, 2016

    One yr have passed since I abandoned my last work and that decision was a life-changer for me… I started to work on-line, for this company I discovered on-line, several hrs daily, and I profit now much more than i did on my old work… Last payment i got was for 9k dollars… Superb thing about this work is that now i have more time for my loved ones… http://chilp.it/8d93f4b


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