President Donald Trump reportedly used his allies to warn former Attorney General Jeff Sessions that he would mount a public campaign against him should he choose to run for his old Senate seat, according to The New York Times.
Sessions, who previously served as an Alabama senator for 20 years before joining Trump’s Justice Department, announced this week that he will take another shot as his seat. Democratic Senator Doug Jones won Sessions’ after the Republican stepped down to become the attorney general.
The Times reported that “over the last week, Mr. Trump sent word to Mr. Sessions through allies that he would publicly attack him if he ran.” Last weekend, the president also “repeatedly denounced Mr. Sessions, saying he was a ‘jerk’ and making it clear Mr. Sessions would not have his support,” sources familiar with the discussions told the newspaper.
Sessions’ decision to enter the race was unwelcome news for his fellow Republicans, who were already concerned over the possibility that Roy Moore might join the mix as well.
Jones defeated Moore last year after several women came forward accusing the former judge of molesting them as teenagers when he was in his 30s. Moore has indicated he might run again next year.
During his time as attorney general, Sessions suffered repeated attacks from the president over his decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. Sessions ultimately resigned and was replaced by the current attorney general, William Barr.