Donald Trump urging GOP to talk up Jeff Sessions ‘strong’ civil rights record


Donald Trump’s transition team is encouraging GOP Senators to talk up Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions “strong civil rights record” and Justice Department experience during his confirmation hearings next year.

The talking points, obtained by Politico, mention Sessions’ large role in Trump’s campaign and that the longtime Senator “is known for his deep respect and adherence to the rule of law, the cornerstone of American democracy.”

The memo also highlights that Sessions filed “a host of desegregation lawsuits” during his time as a U.S. Attorney in Alabama, voted in favor of the 30-year extension of the Civil Rights Act, voted to confirm former Attorney General Eric Holder and his efforts to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Rosa Parks.

One of the marks on Sessions’ record is his failed confirmation to a federal judgeship due to allegations of racist comments, but the memo includes a talking point that individuals who voted against Sessions’ confirmation in 1986 “ultimately regretted it.”

The memo includes a quote late Sen. Arlen Specter, who said his “vote against candidate Sessions for the federal court was a mistake because I have since found that Sen. Sessions is egalitarian.”

The memo also includes talking points on other Trump appointees, such as former Goldman Sachs executive Steven Mnuchin, who the administration emphasizes is a “world-class financier.”

The talking points also highlight his Secretary of Commerce pick Wilbur Ross’ “extraordinary business career,” Secretary of Transportation pick Elaine Chao as “one of the most successful Cabinet officials in American history,” and Secretary of Health and Human Services pick Tom Price as a “renowned physician” and “tireless problem solver.”