Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions praised President Donald Trump even as the president celebrated his Senate primary loss on Tuesday, The Associated Press reports.
Sessions lost the primary for his old Senate seat to former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville.
Sessions, the first Senate Republican to back Trump’s campaign, sought to face off against Sen. Doug Jones, who became the first Democrat to win a Senate seat in Alabama in three decades.
Sessions drew Trump’s scorn early in the presidency when he recused himself from the Russia investigation over his own contacts with a Russian ambassador. Trump criticized him for years before and after firing him and waged a campaign to sabotage Sessions’ Senate hopes.
Trump celebrates loss:
“Wow, just called! Tommy Tuberville WON big against Jeff Sessions,” Trump tweed Tuesday night. “Will be a GREAT Senator for the incredible people of Alabama. @DougJones is a terrible Senator who is just a Super Liberal puppet for Schumer & Pelosi. Represents Alabama poorly. On to November 3rd.”
Trump endorsed Tuberville in the primary and repeatedly hit out at Sessions on Twitter.
Sessions still on the Trump train:
Despite Trump’s attacks, Sessions still praised the Trump agenda after his loss.
“I think it’s time for this Republican Party to listen to the Donald Trump agenda because he has talked about those things frankly and openly,” Sessions said, adding that Trump can win a second term if he “stays on message.”
Sessions defended himself against Trump’s criticism.
“I followed the law, I did the right thing, and I saved the president’s bacon in the process,” he said. “I took the road less traveled, didn’t try to excuse myself or get in a fight or undermine the leader of our country and the great work he has to do.”