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Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions blasted President Trump’s “juvenile insults” on Saturday in a marked departure from his characteristically tepid responses during the years of attacks from his former boss.
Trump had tweeted that Sessions was a “disaster” while offering support for Alabama Republican Tommy Tuberville, who’s running against Sessions for the Senate seat he held for decades before entering the Trump administration. “Jeff Sessions is a disaster who has let us all down. We don’t want him back in Washington!” Trump wrote.
“I’ve taken the road less travelled,” Sessions responded Saturday on Twitter. “Not sought fame or fortune. My honor and integrity are far more important than these juvenile insults. Your scandal ridden candidate is too cowardly to debate. As you know, Alabama does not take orders from Washington.”
Trump famously denounced his own attorney general after the latter recused himself from the Russia investigation in 2017. Earlier this year, Sessions said he had no regrets about the recusal, which came in response to scrutiny surrounding his contacts with Russia’s ambassador.
Sessions’ response came just days before he’s set to face off against Tuberville in Tuesday’s run-off election. Polling from May showed Sessions trailing Tuberville by six points.
When Sessions launched his Senate bid this year, he drew the Trump campaign’s ire for attempting to tie himself to the president.
“President Trump and his Campaign do not support your efforts to return to the U.S. Senate,” Trump campaign chief operation officer Michael Glassner wrote in a letter to Sessions at the time. “We demand that you and your campaign immediately stop circulating mailers — or any other similar communication — that wrongly suggest otherwise.”
Some conservatives have continued supporting Sessions even as Trump lobbed a series of attacks at him.
“Sessions HAD to recuse himself, you complete blithering idiot,” conservative author Ann Coulter wrote to Trump in a May tweet. “YOU did not have to go on Lester Holt’s show and announce you fired Comey over the Russian investigation. That’s what got you a Special Prosecutor.”
Earlier this week, she pointed to a New York Times article accusing Tuberville of leading business ventures that “turned out to be a financial fraud.” Investors sued Tuberville while his business partner, John David Stroud, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Tuberville reportedly denied any wrongdoing, saying: “They sued me because I invested in it, and he used my name to get other people to put money in.”
He added: “There was nothing ever implicated by anybody that I’d done anything wrong. I felt bad that he used my name.”