By KIM CHANDLER Associated Press
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday night praised the policies of his former boss, President Donald Trump, and said he continues to support him.
Sessions spoke Tuesday night at a Madison County Republican Party fundraiser in Huntsville. The former attorney general and U.S. senator made no mention of the Trump impeachment probe in his 40-minute speech, and declined to speak to reporters as he left.
He did, however, heap praise on Trump’s effort on trade, immigration and foreign policy: “That’s why I supported him and why I still do support him,” Sessions told the crowd of about 500.
“He is relentlessly and actually honoring the promises he made to the American people,” Sessions said.
Sessions was one of the first national Republicans to line up behind Trump’s then-fledgling 2016 campaign, and became Trump’s first attorney general. He was ousted after enduring public mocking from Trump for recusing himself from special counsel’s Russia investigation.
Sessions joked about life after being “fired” from a job.
“I’d like to say a lot of people get fired in their work. Mine was a little more public than most,” he quipped, adding that he’s happy that “in this country at least they don’t shoot you.”
Sessions reminisced about his lengthy career, recalling how the Alabama Republican Party transformed from having so few officeholders that they could “caucus in a phone booth” to having a firm lock on state politics. The only Democrat in statewide office is the man who replaced Sessions, Sen. Doug Jones, who won the special election to fill his seat.
Sessions also did not mention next year’s election for that Senate seat. He said he believes Republicans could achieve historic congressional majorities in 2020, but cautioned that they must show they are responding to the concerns of average Americans.
“Half of America makes less than 50 to 60 thousand dollars a year,” Sessions said.
“The average voter does not like the Democratic agenda, but we haven’t shown them sufficiently how much we need them and that we care for them and that we are listening to them about the things they care about,” he said.
He criticized Democrats as the party that sees “more government.”
“The president is exactly right. We will not let socialism take over in this country,” Sessions said to applause.