In Jeff Sessions vs Donald Trump saga, Sessions’ Southern allies speak up

Donald Trump_Jeff Sessions
[Photo Credit: AP Photo | Evan Vucci, File]

Sometimes even those in the powerful offices in Washington need a little help from their friends. In the ongoing saga between Attorney General Jeff Sessions and President Donald Trump, a group of Southern, Republican Senators are stepping out in defense of their longtime colleague, Sessions.

News surfaced Tuesday about the details of a new book on the Trump White House to be released Sept 11 by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Bob Woodward, of the Washington Post, that claims Trump has Attorney Sessions “mentally retarded” and said, “He’s this dumb Southerner.”

Tuesday evening, the president denied that account saying Woodward “made this up to divide!”

By Wednesday morning,Trump accused Woodward of forming a “picture of a person that is literally the exact opposite of the fact.”

Isn’t it a shame that someone can write an article or book, totally make up stories and form a picture of a person that is literally the exact opposite of the fact, and get away with it without retribution or cost. Don’t know why Washington politicians don’t change libel laws?,” Trump tweeted.

Despite the president’s denials, Sessions former U.S. Senate colleagues have spoken out in the Attorney General’s defense.

Alabama’s senior U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, who served alongside Sessions for 20 years, told the Washington Post: “Well, I’m sure I’ve got that accent, wouldn’t you think?”

He also made clear that Trump needed the support of Southern voters in the 2016 general election, adding, “I guess the president, he says what he thinks . . . I think the president’s probably got a lot of respect for the South, I hope so. He did well there. Without the South he wouldn’t be the president of the United States.”

Shelby also disagrees with Sessions being called “mentally retarded.”

“I think that’s strong words,” he added. “I think Sessions is a very smart man and a man of integrity. I would disagree with the president on that.”

Shelby Sessions isn’t the only one to stand up for Sessions. North Carolina’s Thom Tillis, along with Oklahoma’s James Inhofe and Georgia’s Johnny Isakson have also spoken out in his defense.

“As a Southerner, I have to say, Jeff Sessions . . . is bright, studied in the law and well-respected universally by the conference here, I think that speaks for itself. He is bright,” added Tillis.