Jeff Sessions — fighting for a political comeback in Tuesday's GOP primary in Alabama — pushed back Saturday at a major hurdle in his quest to regain the Senate seat he held for decades: President Donald Trump.
After Trump tweeted primary contender and ex-football coach Tommy Tuberville was "a winner who will never let you down" and blasted his former attorney general as "a disaster who has let us all down," Sessions fired up his own rebuke.
"I've taken the road less travelled. Not sought fame or fortune. My honor and integrity are far more important than these juvenile insults. Your scandal ridden candidate is too cowardly to debate. As you know, Alabama does not take orders from Washington."
Sessions held the Senate seat for 20 years before resigning to lead Trump's Justice Department. But the pair's relationship soured after Sessions withdrew from the probe iof Russian interference in the 2016 election — a move that Trump never forgave.
Sessions counters he had no choice because he participated in Trump's 2016 campaign and could have been a potential subject or witness.
"Look, I know your anger, but recusal was required by law. I did my duty & you're damn fortunate I did. It protected the rule of law & resulted in your exoneration. Your personal feelings don't dictate who Alabama picks as their senator, the people of Alabama do,” Sessions tweeted May 22.
Polls show Sessions trailing Tuberville heading into the Tuesday runoff, with the victor running against Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala.
Republicans are defending 25 of the 38 Senate seats in play this year. Democrats must gain at least three to capture the majority. That path gets significantly tougher if Republicans take the Alabama seat, which Jones won in a 2017 special election contest that was upended by sexual misconduct allegations against the GOP nominee Roy Moore.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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