Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions was confirmed as President Trump’s attorney general Wednesday. Sessions has been on Capitol Hill for two decades and was one of Trump’s most loyal advisers and surrogates during the presidential campaign. But who is he?
Here are six things to know about Sessions:.
Early Trump fan
Sessions is good at making predictions. The Alabama Republican was the first senator to endorse Trump last February, and one of his key aides left to become a senior policy adviser to Trump. But Sessions seemed to be in line with Trump long before, he famously wore a “Make America Great Again” hat at a Trump rally in August, 2015 and praised Trump for his immigration plan.
Alabama U.S. Attorney
Sessions was the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama for 12 years (from 1981 to 1993) and then became the state attorney general in 1995 until he entered the Senate in 1997.
Sessions is a top member on the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Chairman of the subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest. Sessions has been a senator for Alabama since 1997 and the junior United States senator.
Failed to be confirmed as a federal judge
Sessions was nominated to be a federal judge in 1986, but it was knocked down by the Senate Judiciary Committee over comments he had made that some people deemed racially insensitive. Sessions has adamantly denied the accusations.
”Mr. Sessions is a throwback to a shameful era which I know both black and white Americans thought was in our past,” Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass. Said at the time, according to ABC News. “It is inconceivable to me that a person of this attitude is qualified to be a U.S. Attorney, let alone a U.S. Federal judge. He is, I believe, a disgrace to the Justice Department and he should withdraw his nomination and resign his position.”.
Sessions is known for his tough stance on immigration. He strongly opposed the 2013 immigration bill created by the bipartisan “Gang of Eight,” which the Senate passed in 2013. He offered up a series of amendments of his own in an attempt to derail the bill.
Ted Cruz ally
Sessions’ endorsement of Trump was a major blow to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (who at the time was still in the race). The two made a fierce team of opposition to the “Gang of Eight ” immigration bill, and are a pair of the most conservative members of Congress. Cruz often touted his alliance with Sessions on the campaign trail.