Republicans Not Doing Enough to Advance Trump Agenda

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Thursday he is a Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama, a seat he once held before he resigned to serve in the Trump administration. In an interview with FOX News’ Tucker Carlson, Sessions said it was an honor to serve under President Trump and believes he still has “something to give.”

“We were able to serve, push the Trump agenda in and honorable way and it was actually a great experience,” the former Senator said.

Sessions said Republicans in Senate have not pushed “hard enough” to advance the Trump agenda. Sessions also said he still does not regret recusing himself from the Mueller probe, due to the rules of the Department of Justice.

“I don’t regret that, and it was an honor to serve,” Sessions said. “And it’s not my seat in the Senate, but I believe I have something to give. I have some convictions that I think need to be pushed. We need to get some Republicans moving. They haven’t been pushing hard enough to advance the Trump agenda.”

“When I left President Trump’s cabinet, did I write a tell-all book? No. Did I go on CNN and attack the president? Nope. Have I said a cross word about our president? Not one time. And I’ll tell you why. First, that would be dishonorable. I was there to serve his agenda, not mine. Second the president is doing a great job – for America and Alabama. And he has my strong support.” Sessions said.

“I did the thing I had to do under the rules of the Department of Justice,” he said of recusing himself. “I — the senior advisers told me that the rules required, the regulations required. And I read them, and I don’t think there was any out for me. But I know how painful it was for the president. This is — the whole thing was very painful for him, and he saw this as a pivotal moment. But painful and as prolonged as it was, it did clear him of Russian collusion, and I’m certainly glad that finally happened.”

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: Until not long ago, he served as attorney general of the United States.  Tonight, he’s speaking on camera for the first time since he left the Trump administration.  There are currently rumors swirling that he could run for the Senate seat that he held for two decades.  Will he do that?  Jeff Sessions joins us on set tonight.  Senator, thanks so much for coming on.

 

FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL JEFF SESSIONS: Thank you, Tucker and good to be with you.

 

CARLSON: Are you running for Senate?

 

SESSIONS: Yes, we’ll file our papers tomorrow.

 

CARLSON: So, you are running for the seat that you held.  You’re, I think after the coach of the Alabama football team, the most popular person in the state when you left.  Do you regret that you left in the first place?

 

SESSIONS: Well, I had a great tenure at the Department of Justice in so many different ways, and I don’t ever worry about regretting things like that.  We were able to serve, push the Trump agenda in and honorable way and it was actually a great experience.  I spent 15 years in the department.

 

CARLSON: Yep.

 

SESSIONS: So, I don’t regret that, and it was an honor to serve.  And it’s not my seat in the Senate, but I believe I have something to give.  I have some convictions that I think need to be pushed.  We need to get some Republicans moving.  They haven’t been pushing hard enough to advance the Trump agenda.  And so, that what I look forward to doing, and I think I can contribute to that. 

 

CARLSON: So, politics famously intruded on your tenure at the Department of Justice.  We can get into that in a minute, but it raised the question of your relationship with President Trump, which I think you address fairly directly in a new political ad.  I don’t know if this has aired anywhere until now, but here it is. 

 

SESSIONS: When I left President Trump’s cabinet, did I write a tell-all book?  No.  Did I go on CNN and attack the president?  Nope.  Have I said a cross word about our president?  Not one time.  And I’ll tell you why.  First, that would be dishonorable.  I was there to serve his agenda, not mine.  Second the president is doing a great job – for America and Alabama.  And he has my strong support.  

CARLSON: He has your strong support.   Do you have his strong support?

 

SESSIONS: Well, I hope so.  I think he will respect my work.  I was there for the Trump agenda every day I was in the Senate.  No doubt about it; I was the first Republican — first senator to endorse him.

 

CARLSON: Yes. 

 

SESSIONS: We pushed his immigration agenda, his trade agenda, and began to work to a more realistic foreign policy, that doesn’t get us in endless wars.  I think he was right about all three of those.

 

CARLSON: Yes. 

 

SESSIONS: That’s where the American people are.  And this Republican Congress — and the whole Congress — needs to listen to that.

 

CARLSON: Well, ironically, you were one of the — by my count — one of the very few people in the administration who agreed with him on his signature issues.  Most didn’t, and worked to undermine them, as we’ve seen, for three years.  But you got into it on the question of Russia.  You recused yourself from the investigation.  He was furious about it; he’s never stopped complaining.  He’s — recently was complaining about it.  Do you regret that decision?

 

SESSIONS: No.  I did the thing I had to do under the rules of the Department of Justice.  I — the senior advisers told me that the rules required, the regulations required.  And I read them, and I don’t think there was any out for me.  But I know how painful it was for the president.  This is — the whole thing was very painful for him, and he saw this as a pivotal moment.  But painful and as prolonged as it was, it did clear him of Russian collusion, and I’m certainly glad that finally happened.

 

CARLSON: He’s very popular in the state of Alabama, as you know, and as your ad suggests.  You don’t want him to come out against you, of course.  Are you going to talk to him about it?

 

SESSIONS: Well, I do — I will, and I look forward to having that opportunity.  It hasn’t been provided at this moment, but I would like to be able to go to the people of Alabama and tell them, with all honesty, “I believe in this agenda.”  I was for this agenda before President Trump announced – 

 

CARLSON: That’s true.

 

SESSIONS: I supported it when he was president — when he was running for president.  I supported him.  And if I return to the Senate, I will — no senator in the Senate will be more effective in advancing President Trump’s agenda than I would be.

 

CARLSON: I believe that, and I was there before Trump arose, and you were making the same case that he’s making now.  What about your fellow Republicans who remain in the Senate?  Do you think, after three years, they buy the Trump agenda?

 

SESSIONS: — I think some of them are still standoff-ish, and some of them almost give the impression that maybe he’ll just fail or it won’t happen, and we won’t have to deal with it.  But ending lawlessness at the border is a bipartisan overwhelming issue.  Standing up to China.  Defending American manufacturing.  Standing up against cheating, and fraud, and abuse.  It’s a bipartisan, powerful issue.  Trump is right on both of those.  And if — and long wars.  I saw recently that veterans opposed — didn’t think military efforts in Iraq were justified, by 64 percent.  The American people think we are too committed in too many endless wars.  President Trump is right about that.  So, I think this represents some change for the Republican establishment — and many of the Democrats are totally opposed to it.  But we should be able to put together a majority.  We should drive these issues — we can take it to the American people and name names, and show who’s for what, and make them vote. That’s what I’d like to see us doing.

 

CARLSON: Naming names would be a great public service.  Quickly, we move from Russia to Ukraine.  The president apparently is going to be impeached.  What do you make of that?

 

SESSIONS: I just cannot see an impeachment case here.  It’s just been a continuous political attack on him from day one, things that people have done that are perfectly innocent.  I felt some of that myself — or created and twisted to be something evil and improper.  And I believe the president has conducted himself in this matter within the law, and I don’t believe there’s anything close to an impeachment case.  I think the Democrats will basically vote it, it looks like, slink away and let the Senate reject it.

 

CARLSON: Senator, Attorney General, and now, once again, Senate candidate, Jeff Sessions.  Thank you for coming on tonight.

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