Both the NY Times and CBS News, the first to report on the story, had one mission in their reports: smear Jeff Sessions as “racist,” a nonsense word in general, which means nothing, and is never defined by anyone when it’s used.
Excerpted From The NYTimes: President-elect Donald J. Trump has selected Senator Jeff Sessions, a conservative from Alabama who became a close adviser after endorsing him early in his campaign, to be the attorney general of the United States, according to officials close to the transition.
Mr. Sessions was also under consideration for secretary of defense, creating debate within the Trump transition team over which job he should fill.
Mr. Sessions, a former prosecutor elected to the Senate in 1996, serves on the Judiciary Committee and has opposed immigration reform as well as bipartisan proposals to cut mandatory minimum prison sentences.
While Mr. Sessions is well liked in the Senate, his record as United States attorney in Alabama in the 1980s is very likely to become an issue for Democrats and civil rights groups expected to give it close scrutiny.
While serving as a United States prosecutor in Alabama, Mr. Sessions was nominated in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan for a federal judgeship. But his nomination was rejected by the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee because of racially charged comments and actions. At that time, he was one of two judicial nominees whose selections were halted by the panel in nearly 50 years.
In testimony before the committee, former colleagues said that Mr. Sessions had referred to the N.A.A.C.P., the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and other civil rights groups as “un-American” and “Communist-inspired.” An African-American federal prosecutor then, Thomas H. Figures, said Mr. Sessions had referred to him as “boy” and testified that Mr. Sessions said the Ku Klux Klan was fine “until I found out they smoked pot.” Mr. Sessions dismissed that remark as a joke. Keep reading
Excerpted From CBS News: President-elect Trump has offered Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions the post of attorney general, sources directly involved in the selection process tell CBS News.
The choice of Sessions to be the nation’s top prosecutor is sure to be controversial.
Sessions has been one of Mr. Trump’s closest and most consistent allies.
But when Sessions faced Senate confirmation for a job 30 years ago, it didn’t go well.
Nominated for a federal judgeship in 1986, Sessions, R-Ala., was dogged by racist comments he was accused of making while serving as U.S. attorney in Alabama. He was said to have called a black assistant U.S. attorney “boy” and the NAACP “un-American” and “communist-inspired.”
Sessions was the first senator to back Mr. Trump during the campaign and is an architect of Mr. Trump’s immigration, counterterrorism and trade policies.
His name has been floated for attorney general and secretary of defense. The Trump transition team released a statement Thursday saying the president-elect is “unbelievably impressed” with Sessions, citing his work as a U.S. attorney and state attorney general in Alabama.
But confirmation for the four-term lawmaker, even in a Republican-controlled chamber, is not guaranteed.
Sessions had been confirmed by a Republican-controlled Senate in 1981 to be the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Alabama.
In 1986, however, his racially-charged comments and record on civil rights as a U.S. attorney, which Sessions denied and defended, prevented his nomination as judge from going forward, even in a GOP-majority Senate. Sessions later withdrew from consideration, though he went on to become state attorney general and won election to the U.S. Senate in 1996.
“Mr. Sessions is a throwback to a shameful era, which I know both black and white Americans thought was in our past,” the late Massachusetts Democrat, Sen. Edward Kennedy, said during the 1986 confirmation hearing. “It is inconceivable to me that a person of this attitude is qualified to be a U.S. attorney, let alone a U.S. federal judge.”
During the hearing, a former assistant U.S. attorney, Thomas Figures, who is black, said Sessions referred to him as “boy,” and told him to be careful what he said to “white folks.” Sessions said he never called Figures “boy,” but Kennedy produced a letter from an organization of black lawyers that said Figures made the allegation about Sessions to the organization’s investigators at least twice.
Sessions told the committee that he told Figures to be careful what he said to “folks.”
“I believe that the statements and actions of Mr. Sessions regarding race, and regarding civil rights, impact tremendously on whether he is decent,” Figures told the committee. Figures died in 2015. Keep reading