2020 elections

Trump Endorses Sessions Foe in Alabama

Trump’s last Alabama endorsement didn’t work out so well, but he’s trying again. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

It’s the ultimate act of spite over Jeff Sessions doing the right thing and recusing himself as attorney general from his own department’s investigation of Russian connections with the Trump campaign at the very time he worked for it. Even though he arguably owes a lot to the Alabaman, the first senator to legitimize his presidential candidacy with an endorsement, Donald Trump chose to kick him in the teeth one more time by endorsing his runoff opponent in the election to take back his own seat for the GOP:

To be sure, Tuberville, who is sort of Roy Moore without the creepy taste for young women, is slavishly devoted to Trump. But in a contest that revolved around the MAGA altar, the president could have remained neutral if not for his insatiable taste for revenge against Sessions. The two men ran nearly even in the first primary (with another Trump idolator, Bradley Byrne, finishing a respectable third) and Sessions might have had a fighting chance in the March 31 runoff. That’s probably not the case now.

It’s true that in the 2017 special election to replace Sessions when he joined Trump’s cabinet, the president’s endorsed candidate, appointed Senator Luther Strange, lost to Moore. But Strange’s appointment to the seat was controversial, and he didn’t have anything like the kind of longstanding base of support Sessions earned during 20 years in the Senate. That Trump can likely lift a slack-jawed political novice like Tuberville past him in a year when any Republican will be favored over Moore’s conquerer, Doug Jones, is a testament to how abjectly the GOP is in thrall to its brutish king. I’m sure the president means to make an example of Sessions as exhibiting the fate of anyone who places principle above loyalty to Donald Trump.

Trump Endorses Sessions Foe in Alabama