Alabama’s senators stand by Jeff Sessions amid Russia criticism

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​Alabama’s senior U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby offered public support to his former colleague turned Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, on Thursday following reports the former Alabama senator intentionally misled his colleagues during his confirmation hearings about about meeting with the Russian ambassador.

“This afternoon I watched Attorney General Sessions’ press conference where he thoroughly explained his responses to the Judiciary Committee,” said Shelby. “As I have said before, I hold Jeff’s integrity in the highest regard and his action solidifies my respect for his leadership.”

Shelby, a Republican said he believed Sessions committed no wrongdoing.

“I firmly believe that Jeff has committed no wrongdoing and his statement today proves as much. Attorney General Sessions’ decision to recuse himself was wise, and I fully support him,” Shelby concluded.

Luther Strange, Alabama’s newly minted senator who filled Sessions vacant seat, echoed Shelby’s support saying the attacks against Sessions are baseless.

“Today’s attacks are ugly, and they are entirely baseless,” Strange said in a statement. “Here are the facts: Jeff Sessions has a proven record as a national security watchdog who is tough on Russia. As every Democrat who is criticizing Jeff Sessions knows, meetings between Senators and foreign ambassadors happen nearly every day – they are part of the job, especially for a senior member of the Armed Services Committee.”

West Virginia-Democrat U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin went on record Thursday saying he too has met with Russian ambassadors, saying that meetings were “not unusual.”

Manchin added it’s typical for senators to “meet with all the ambassadors” to establish a relationship with them and “know where in the world people are coming from.”

A ForeignPolicy.com reporter Tweeted Thursday that over 30 Senate Democrats had also met with Russian diplomats.

Strange now hopes other Democrats will see their hypocrisy and leave Sessions alone in order to get back to the people’s work.

“I am calling on Congressional Democrats to stop this witch hunt and join Republicans in the business of doing what the American people sent us here for – fixing our economy, securing our border, and strengthening our national security,” Strange concluded.

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