Richard Shelby, former colleagues come to Jeff Sessions’ defense

Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions

U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby rallied behind his former Senate colleague Attorney General Jeff Sessions Tuesday morning following a string of critical tweets from President Donald Trump.

“During the past twenty years that I have served with Jeff Sessions in the Senate, I have had the opportunity to know him well. He is a man of integrity, loyalty, and extraordinary character. I join the people of Alabama in giving him my deep respect and unwavering support,” Shelby told Alabama Today and echoed on Twitter.

South Carolina-Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, who served alongside Sessions in the Senate for 20 years, called him “one of the most decent people I’ve ever met in my political life.”

“He’s a rock solid conservative, but above else, he believes in the rule of law,” Graham said in a statement. “Jeff understands that we are a nation of laws, not men. On occasion, I’ve vigorously disagreed with Jeff, but I’ve never once doubted his integrity or sense of fair play.”

Both lawmakers came to Sessions’ defense after Trump tweeted on Tuesday that Sessions had taken a “VERY weak position” on Democrat Hillary Clinton regarding her emails and the intel leaks.

Graham called Trump’s early morning tweet “highly inappropriate.”

“Prosecutorial decisions should be based on applying facts of the law without hint of political motivation,” Graham said. “To do otherwise is to run away from the long-standing American tradition of separating the law from politics regardless of party.”

Throughout the morning, other former Senate colleagues have joined Shelby and Graham, going on record stating their support for Sessions as well.

“I’ve worked with Jeff Sessions for years, and while we certainly may not agree on the specifics of every issue, I believed he would be a great attorney general because of his unwavering commitment to the rule of law,” North Carolina-Republican Sen. Thom Tillis said in a statement. “…Following eight years of organizational and accountability issues plaguing the Department of Justice, Attorney General Sessions’ leadership is needed now more than ever.”

“Jeff Sessions is a friend, former colleague, and an honorable person. He is a man of deep conviction and principle who believes in the rule of law. We may not agree on every policy issue, but I believe he always has the best interests of our country at heart,” added Ohio-Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman

Even House Members have jumped into the fray, offering their support.

Illinois 16th District U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger suggested the president “maybe just try a meeting” rather than public calling out his own Cabinet.

“I think Jeff Sessions made the right decision in recusing himself, and I also understand the president’s frustrations at the decisions and actions that Attorney General Sessions that led to him having to recuse himself,” South Carolina 4th District U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy on Fox News. “The president is frustrated that he picked an attorney general that had to recuse himself. The recusal was based on the attorney general’s failure to recall some meetings. So that’s what the recusal was based on. The recusal was appropriate, but I do understand the president’s frustration.”