1986 Hearing Could Haunt AG Nominee Jeff Sessions

4 prosecutors accused him of making racist comments
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 18, 2016 7:55 AM CST
Updated Nov 18, 2016 9:14 AM CST
Trump's Attorney General Pick: Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. speaks to media at Trump Tower, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, in New York.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Donald Trump has made two more key picks for his administration: He's chosen GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama for attorney general and Republican congressman Mike Pompeo of Kansas to lead the CIA, reports Politico. Both will require Senate confirmation, and the AP notes that Sessions could run into trouble because he has been by dogged by accusations of racism over the years. More coverage on that and more:

  • When the 69-year-old Sessions was up for a federal judgeship in 1986, four different lawyers testified that he made racist comments. One black prosecutor accused Sessions of calling him "boy" and of joking that he thought the KKK was fine "until I found out they smoked pot." Sessions, who also allegedly called the NAACP "un-American," didn't get the post. See CNN.
  • In a "10 things to know" post about Sessions, the Washington Post notes that he was in 2014 called "amnesty's worst enemy" by the National Review for his hardline positions on immigration. See the full list here.

  • A take from Politico: Sessions "is well-regarded by his Republican colleagues, although his breed of hardline conservatism falls outside the GOP mainstream. He is opposed to creating a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and a vocal critic of marijuana legalization, though he worked with the Obama administration and Democrats on legislation supported by civil rights groups that reduced the sentencing disparity for cocaine possession."
  • Sessions was Trump's first supporter in the Senate, and he played down Trump's comments in the infamous Access Hollywood leaked tape, notes the Huffington Post.
  • Sessions' official Senate bio is here.
  • Pompeo, 52, "is considered a serious if rather hawkish member of the Republican national security establishment." More background at the Hill.
  • The New York Times notes that he gained national prominence as a member of the House Intelligence Committee when he criticized Hillary Clinton over the 2012 Benghazi attack.
  • He's also been among those most outspoken against President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran, notes McClatchy.
  • Pompeo's official bio is here.
(More Jeff Sessions stories.)

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