Washington DC: February 9, 2017. Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions has been confirmed as Attorney General in President Trump’s administration after a contentious battle in the Senate.
A number of Trump’s cabinet picks proved to be controversial as Democrats and Republicans heatedly argued for or against their confirmations. Earlier this week, Vice President Mike Pence had to step in to cast the tie-breaking vote in the confirmation of education secretary Betsy DeVos.
The Senate voted narrowly to confirm Sessions (52-47) after a heated debate which included a move by Republicans to silence liberal Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, according to Fox News.
Sessions, who was Alabama’s former Attorney General, has been accused of calling the NAACP and the ACLU un-American and even Communist-inspired organizations. He also allegedly called a white lawyer defending a black plaintiff “a disgrace to his race.”
Sessions has denied saying these things, but has admitted that during that 1986 confirmation hearing, “I am loose with my tongue on occasion.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had this to say in defense of Sessions: "He's honest. He's fair. He's been a friend to many of us, on both sides of the aisle. It's been tough to watch all this good man has been put through in recent weeks. This is a well-qualified colleague with a deep reverence for the law. He believes strongly in the equal application of it to everyone."
After being confirmed, Sessions told his Senate colleagues: “We need latitude in our relationships. Denigrating people who disagree with us is not a healthy trend for our body."