Southern Senators are rallying around Attorney General Jeff Sessions after a new book from Bob Woodward alleged that President Donald Trump called Sessions “mentally retarded,” a “dumb Southerner” and “traitor.”
As the Washington Post reports, even though Trump has denied making the remarks and said Woodward’s book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” is based on “so many lies and phony sources,” the Republican senators from Dixie want people to know they object to the divisive language — no matter who the source. (RELATED: Woodward Book Says Trump Called Sessions ‘Retarded’ And ‘A Dumb Southerner’)
Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) told the Post, “I’m a Southerner. People can judge my intellect, my IQ, by my product and what I produce rather than what somebody else says.”
Isakson continued, “We’re a pretty smart bunch. We lost the Civil War, but I think we’re winning the economic war since then … I’m not gonna get into name-calling because I don’t think you should be allowed to call names — including the president,” he added.
Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), a long-time friend and colleague of Sessions noted that it would be politically stupid of Trump to denigrate Southerners since they hugely helped elect the president in 2016.
“I guess the president — he says what he thinks … I think the president’s probably got a lot of respect for the South. I hope so. He did well there. Without the South, he wouldn’t be the president of the United States,” he told the post.
After a century of voting as a Democratic block, the South is now largely a bastion of fervent Republican support.
Shelby also defended Sessions’ intellectual abilities: “I think that’s strong words. I think Sessions is a very smart man and a man of integrity. I would disagree with the president on that.”