Alabama Rep. Offers To Drop Out Of Senate Race For Sessions

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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Republican Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks requested Wednesday that his fellow candidates in the Alabama Senate primary drop out in order to allow Attorney General Jeff Sessions to return to the Senate.

President Donald Trump continues to publicly criticize Sessions, calling him “beleaguered” and his actions “very weak,” although White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Wednesday that the president still wants Sessions to serve in his position.

The race for the Republican nomination in Alabama has largely become a contest of whoever is closest to Trump — the president won the state with 62.1 percent of the vote.

However, Brooks said in a statement Wednesday, “I cannot remain silent about the treatment Jeff Sessions is receiving from President Trump.”

“If the President has reservations about Attorney General Jeff Sessions, that is okay. No two people agree all the time. But President Trump should raise his reservations with Attorney General Sessions privately, man to man, one on one, not publicly scorn a great man like this,” Brooks wrote. “I support President Trump’s policies, but this public waterboarding of one of the greatest people Alabama has ever produced is inappropriate and insulting to the people of Alabama who know Jeff Sessions so well and elected him so often by overwhelming margins.”

A source allied with Sessions previously told The Daily Caller that Trump’s criticism of Sessions “creates odd politics in Alabama where Jeff is loved, and it creates interesting dynamics in the Senate race where Mo Brooks has been outspoken in defending Jeff.”

It’s clear that Brooks is doubling down on sticking with Sessions.

“I recognize that President Trump is popular in Alabama. My closest friends and political advisers have told me to not side with Jeff Sessions, that it will cost me politically to do so,” Brooks said. “My response is simple: I don’t care. If this costs me politically, that’s fine but I am going to do the right thing for Alabama and America.”

Alabama Republican Sen. Luther Strange, the incumbent in the race, responded to Brooks in a statement that read: “This is what a candidate does when he learns he’s plummeted to a distant third and is desperate to get attention. Shame on Congressman Brooks for his lack of faith in President Trump and Attorney General Session’s commitment to work together to make America great again.”

Another candidate in the primary Randy Brinson told TheDC that Brooks should leave the “Senate race and concentrate on his Congressional duties since he is ill prepared to serve as our US senator.” While former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice Roy Moore told Fox News on Monday, “I don’t think Jeff Sessions should resign at this time. But you know that’s my opinion.”

A poll released Wednesday shows Strange ahead with 33 percent of the vote, Moore in second at 26 percent, and Brooks in third at 16 percent. Recent internal polling viewed by TheDC, however, shows Strange in third with Moore leading and Brooks in second.

The primary will be on August 15. Sessions can’t formally become a candidate, however, a write-in campaign could be implemented. If no candidate gets over 50 percent, there will be a run-off with the top two contenders on September 26.