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Jeff Sessions Wants To Return To The Senate, GOP Sources Say


Jeff Sessions wants his old job back - no, not his job as attorney general, but as Alabama senator. GOP sources tell NPR that Sessions is going to soon announce his campaign for the Alabama Senate seat that he held for 20 years. The person currently in that seat is Democrat Doug Jones, who is considered to be the most vulnerable member of the U.S. Senate. Here's NPR's Debbie Elliott.

DEBBIE ELLIOTT, BYLINE: Jeff Sessions' comeback bid is complicated by his soured relationship with President Trump. Sessions stepped down as attorney general after being repeatedly mocked by Trump, angered that Sessions recused himself from special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. Even after Sessions resigned, the ridicule continued.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The attorney general says, I'm going to recuse myself.


TRUMP: And I said, why the hell didn't he tell me that before I put him in?

ELLIOTT: Sessions was the first senator to get behind Trump's campaign, long before Trump's plan to build the wall. The conservative Sessions was a border hawk and had Trump's ear on immigration policy. Trump lauded Sessions at an early campaign rally in Alabama.


TRUMP: We have a man here who really helped me. And he was the one person - I sought his counsel because he's been so spot on. He's so highly respected.

ELLIOTT: The question is how voters will respond now that Sessions is out of favor with the president. Trump has his highest approval rating in the country in Alabama. Other GOP candidates, including Congressman Bradley Byrne, and former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville, promised to stand with the president. Tuberville tweeted that Sessions failed the president at his greatest point of need. The qualifying deadline is Friday. Debbie Elliott, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR National Correspondent Debbie Elliott can be heard telling stories from her native South. She covers the latest news and politics, and is attuned to the region's rich culture and history.