Donald Trump couldn’t hold back any longer.
After weeks of holding back comments on the Alabama Republican primary for U.S. Senate, Trump took aim at his former attorney general, Jeff Sessions, on Wednesday, a day after Sessions finished second but forced a primary runoff with Tommy Tuberville.
“This is what happens to someone who loyally gets appointed Attorney General of the United States & then doesn’t have the wisdom or courage to stare down & end the phony Russia Witch Hunt,” Trump tweeted early Wednesday in response to a Politico story on Sessions’ second place finish. “Recuses himself on FIRST DAY in office, and the Mueller Scam begins!”
Ordinarily, the online rantings of one possibly mentally impaired senior citizen wouldn’t be cause for alarm in a political campaign, but in this instance, it’s devastating.
Sessions, Tuberville and third-place finisher Bradley Byrne spent the last few months trying to prove to Alabama voters that they each loved Trump and his agenda more than the others. Their political ad campaigns disregarded all issues and platforms and instead focused solely on who could best help Trump and who Trump would choose.
Clearly, it is not Sessions. Which can hardly come as a surprise to anyone, much less Sessions.
Trump famously forced Sessions out after using him as a public punching bag for weeks, angered by Sessions’ decision to recuse from the Russia investigation and allow a special prosecutor, Robert Mueller, to be appointed to investigate.
That investigation stretched on for months and resulted in dozens of indictments, including seven of Trump’s campaign staff, including his personal attorney and campaign manager. It also found Trump likely broke the law by obstructing the investigation — although Mueller left that determination up to Congress. Mueller determined that Trump did not collude with Russia, but only because the definition of collusion required the accused to have participated in the illegal act, not simply requested it and benefited from it, as Trump did.
Trump was furious with the entire investigation and blamed Sessions for moving aside and not illegally blocking it out of some sense of loyalty to the Dear Leader.
In an interview on Wednesday with ABC 33/40, Sessions explained that he didn’t have any option but to recuse, because it was an “explicit regulation” of the Department of Justice at the time.
That doesn’t matter to Trump, which should probably tell you something about his views on the laws and following them.
But, then, reality is at a premium these days.
So, instead, the beat goes on. Sessions also said in that interview that he “still loves” Trump and he reminded everyone that “he’s never done anything to hurt President Trump.”
But Trump has done plenty to hurt Sessions.
Somehow, some way, a washed-up reality TV show star who managed to bankrupt a casino and faces more than a dozen credible accusations of sexual assault, who was caught paying off a porn star, who has refused to turn over his tax returns after first promising to do so six years ago and who has lied so many times and so blatantly that people have stopped counting — that guy has turned a 20-year U.S. Senator and U.S. AG into a groveling, pathetic mess of a candidate who just finished second to a first-time candidate and former college football coach who most of this state never really liked all that much as a football coach.
Sessions could have died in that seat had he not let his ambition — and his lust to undo civil rights advancements achieved under President Obama — get the best of him. But now, I bet locking Hispanic kids in cages and almost kicking poor people off of their health insurance hardly seems worth it.
And Sessions has another month of this.
Another month of telling everyone how much he loves Trump. Another month of ignoring the pointed insults from Trump. Another month of SNL possum skits. Another month of belittlement to get back a seat he held for two decades.
But, hey, look at the bright side: The rest of us are enjoying watching it.