Ignoring the verbal barbs and Twitter attacks leveled against him by President Donald Trump, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has started his campaign to regain his old Senate seat - which reportedly has irked the President - by heaping praise on President Trump.
In a 30 second video unveiled on Thursday titled, "Great Job," Sessions said he hasn't criticized the President, because he agrees with Mr. Trump's agenda.
"Did I write a tell all book?" Sessions says in the ad. "Have I said a cross word about our President? Not one time."
"The President is doing a great job for America, and Alabama, and he has my strong support," Sessions says in the video released on Thursday night.
Tucked into that advertisement is a snippet of video from a late February 2016 rally in Madison, Alabama, where Sessions became the first sitting GOP Senator to endorse Mr. Trump, just as he was poised to grab control of the race for the Republican nomination.
"At this time in American history, we need to make America great again," Sessions said to cheers of "USA! USA!" from the crowd.
That early support resulted in Sessions being brought in as a top adviser for the President, and ultimately the Alabama Senator would become U.S. Attorney General.
But it was in that post that Sessions infuriated the President by recusing himself from the Russia investigation, as President Trump belittled Sessions repeatedly, until Sessions was finally pushed out, the morning after the 2018 mid-term elections.
"Sessions didn't have a clue," the President tweeted in March.
"The Russian Witch Hunt Hoax continues, all because Jeff Sessions didn’t tell me he was going to recuse himself," Mr. Trump tweeted in June of 2018.
"I would have quickly picked someone else," the President added.
In recent weeks, as Sessions has made clear he wanted to run to regain his seat in the U.S. Senate, GOP Senators have made clear to their former colleague that he does not have the backing of the President at this point.
Senator Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, told reporters he spoke to Jeff Sessions about his Senate run in Alabama a few days ago and told him: "your life is going to be very difficult unless you work out some sort of reconciliation with the President"— Ali Zaslav (@alizaslav) November 7, 2019
Sessions enters what's already a crowded Republican Primary, as the GOP looks to defeat Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL), a Democrat who won an improbable victory to replace Sessions, as he defeated GOP nominee Roy Moore, who had been beset by a variety of sexual misconduct allegations.
The GOP lineup right now includes not only Moore, but also former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville, Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), along with the Alabama Secretary of State, the state Auditor, another state Representative, and several other candidates.
Rep. Bradley Byrne, who is also vying for the primary, responds to Sessions’ announcement: “Alabama deserves a Senator who will stand with the President and won’t run away and hide from the fight."— Manu Raju (@mkraju) November 8, 2019
It would not be the first time that Sessions has taken an unusual route to the U.S. Senate; in 1986, Sessions was nominated to be a federal judge by President Reagan, but after a spirited debate with strong opposition from Democrats, Sessions was forced to withdraw.
Sessions had the last laugh, as he returned to Alabama and ran for the U.S. Senate, winning in 1996 - then serving alongside many of the Democratic Senators who had opposed his nomination to the federal bench.