Apr 2, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump campaign demands Sessions stop campaigning on ties to president

Trump and Sessions.

Photos: SAUL LOEB, NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump campaign sent a letter to former Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday demanding that he stop touting his support of the president during his run for his old Senate seat in Alabama, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Trump has had a rift with Sessions dating back to the former attorney general's recusal from the Russia investigation — a decision the president relentlessly attacked him for publicly. Trump has endorsed Sessions' opponent, former college football coach Tommy Tuberville, in the GOP primary runoff election.

Details: “The Trump campaign has learned that your U.S. Senate campaign is circulating mailers like the one I have enclosed, in which you misleadingly promote your connections to and ‘support’ of President Trump,” Trump campaign chief operating officer Michael Glassner wrote in the letter.

  • “The enclosed letter and donor form in fact mention President Trump by name 22 times. The letter even makes the delusional assertion that you are President ‘Trump’s #1 supporter.'"
  • “We only assume your campaign is doing this to confuse President Trump’s loyal supporters in Alabama into believing the president supports your candidacy in the upcoming primary runoff election. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

What they're saying: Sessions campaign spokesperson Gail Gitcho told the Times the fundraising letter Glassner is referring to was sent before Trump endorsed Tuberville. Gitcho added that "Alabamans don’t like to be told what to do.”

  • “They have shown that repeatedly. Washington told them to vote for Luther Strange over Roy Moore, they disobeyed. Washington told them to vote for Roy Moore over Doug Jones, they disobeyed. They are a hardheaded and independent lot.”
  • Gitcho said Sessions is one of the most fervent supporters of Trump and his agenda. “No one can change that," she said.

What's next: Alabama's primary runoff, which was originally scheduled for March 31, was rescheduled to July 14 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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