Trump campaign lashes out in letter to Jeff Sessions — accusing him of making a 'delusional' claim
President Donald Trump's campaign sent a scathing letter to his one-time ally Jeff Sessions, demanding that the former attorney general stop suggesting that he has the support of the commander in chief in his race for the Senate, as was first reported by the New York Times and confirmed by ABC News.
In the letter, Trump Campaign Chief Operating Officer Michael Glassner rebuked the senatorial candidate for sending out campaign materials that "mention President Trump by name 22 times."
The Sessions campaign "even makes the delusional assertion that you are President 'Trump's #1 Supporter,'" Glassner wrote. "We only assume your campaign is doing this to confuse President Trump's loyal supporters in Alamaba into believing the President supports your candidacy in the upcoming primary run-off election. Nothing could be further from the truth."
Sessions is in a run-off election against fellow Republican Tommy Tuberville for the chance to run against Democratic Sen. Doug Jones in November. Jones won the Alabama seat in a special election after Sessions vacated it in 2017 to become Trump's attorney general. As one of Trump's early supporters in the 2016 campaign, he was rewarded with control of the Justice Department once the president took office. But Trump quickly soured on Sessions after he recused himself from the Russia investigation, citing the advice of ethics experts and the clear conflict of interest due to his role as a campaign surrogate for the president. Trump never forgave Sessions for this move and believed it thwarted his ability to control the Russia investigation. He even repeatedly demanded that Sessions unrecuse himself and seize control of the probe; he eventually fired Sessions to install a pair of loyalists — first Matthew Whitaker and then Attorney General Bill Barr — to oversee the investigation and the DOJ.
When Sessions decided he wanted to run for his old Senate seat, the former attorney general made it clear that — despite the president's clear disdain for him — he still was a big Trump supporter. But apparently, the president's fury at Sessions hasn't abated, as the letter shows. He has endorsed Tuberville over Sessions in the upcoming race.
"We want to be absolutely clear about it: President Trump and the Trump Campaign unambiguously endorse Tommy Tuberville," the letter said. It cited the following tweets from the president in support of the claim:
....(which is under siege), is strong on Crime and the Border, and truly LOVES our Military and our Vets. He will b… https://t.co/xCnVyqDXez— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1583891654.0
"President Trump and his Campaign do not support your efforts to return to the U.S. Senate," Glassner concluded. "We demand that you and your campaign immediately stop circulating mailers—or any other similar communication—that wrongly suggest otherwise."
There's nothing legally binding or significant about this letter. Sessions is allowed to lie about the president if he wants, but there's not even any actually evidence that he has lied; being the president's "#1 Supporter" is not, obviously, a factual claim. But the fact that the Trump campaign went so far as to send the letter at all shows how deep the president's animosity for Sessions still is, which may be a major hurdle for the former senator when he tries to convince Alabama Republicans to return him to Washington, D.C.
Confirmed @maggieNYT reporting w/ @wsteaks - Trump camp calls on Sessions to stop "misleadingly" tying himself to T… https://t.co/Zb6PsK0KE9— Katherine Faulders (@Katherine Faulders)1585850503.0