Trump campaign officials set the record straight this week, demanding in a Tuesday letter that former Attorney General Jeff Sessions cease referring to President Donald Trump in campaign materials for his ongoing U.S. Senate bid.
Displeased with a Sessions campaign mailer in which the president was mentioned on 22 occasions, according to The New York Times, Trump campaign chief operating officer Michael Glassner accused the lifelong Republican of seeking to deceive the party’s base into assuming he had secured the president’s endorsement.
The now-public letter, which was addressed to Sessions directly, also suggested the former Trump administration official was “delusional” for claiming to be “Trump’s #1 supporter.”
“The Trump campaign has learned that your U.S. Senate campaign is circulating mailers like the one I have enclosed, in which you misleadingly promote your connections to and ‘support’ of President Trump,” Glassner wrote. “We only assume your campaign is doing this to confuse President Trump’s loyal supporters in Alabama into believing the president supports your candidacy.
“Nothing could be further from the truth.”
The Trump campaign says Trump endorsed Tommy Tuberville over Sessions in the runoff to be the Republican nominee. However, the Sessions camp says the mailer the campaign is taking issue with went out March 6th, days before Trump endorsed Tubervillehttps://t.co/IZ4fpw57Ha
— Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) April 2, 2020
Berated by Trump for his decision to recuse himself from matters related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, Sessions had been all but sacked by the administration, resigning from his position shortly after the November 2018 midterm elections.
Sessions departed the Senate to assume office shortly after the president’s 2017 inauguration and was one of the first major national players in Republican politics to endorse Trump in his unprecedented outsider bid for the White House just one year prior.
Tensions flared often between the two, however, amid the Mueller probe, with Trump frequently and publicly questioning the longtime litigator’s loyalty and demanding something be done by the attorney general’s office to halt the investigation.
Still, Sessions has had warm words for Trump even after his departure, telling Fox News in November that he supports the president’s agenda and still has “something to give” in terms of seeing it succeed in Washington.
“We were able to serve, be able to push the Trump agenda in an honorable way and it was actually a great experience.” Sessions said.
“I don’t regret that, and it was an honor to serve,” Sessions continued. “It’s not my seat in the Senate, but I believe I have something to give. I have some convictions that I think need to be pushed. We need to get some Republicans moving. They haven’t been pushing hard enough to advance the Trump agenda.”
No such kind words have been reserved for Sessions by the president, who has repeatedly called the former attorney general “weak” and “ineffective,” according to CNN, even mocking his Southern accent.
As Glassner pointed out in the letter, Trump has even gone so far as to endorse Sessions’ primary opponent, former Auburn Tigers football head coach Tommy Tuberville.
“We want to be absolutely clear about it,” Glassner wrote, “President Trump and the Trump Campaign unambiguously endorse Tommy Tuberville.”
“President Trump and his Campaign do not support your efforts to return to the U.S. Senate,” he added.
— Brian Lyman (@lyman_brian) April 2, 2020
Despite Trump’s antagonization, Sessions performed well in the primary, vying for support in a field of seven candidates going into Super Tuesday.
With 33 percent of the recorded vote, however, Tuberville bested Sessions by a roughly 2 percent margin, which forced a runoff election to be held later this year.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced in a Mar. 18 statement that the nominating contest between Sessions and Tuberville had been postponed to July 14 as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Sessions campaign expressed confidence regarding the runoff in a response to the Trump campaign’s Tuesday letter, declaring the candidate “ready to lead from Day One” and unperturbed by attempts to influence the race from D.C.
“The people of Alabama are going to decide this race, not Washington,” the campaign wrote. “Alabamians are an independent lot and they make their own decisions. Our campaign is resolutely focused on the important challenges facing America, and the critical issues to Alabama and our economy.”
“That is what this race is all about. Tommy Tuberville will not be able to hide his lack of preparedness for this role,” the campaign statement continued.
“Tommy should quit hiding from these issues and the voters of Alabama — it’s time for him to man up, and debate.”
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