President-elect Donald Trump has offered Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., the post of attorney general in his incoming White House administration.
The 69-year-old Sessions has served in the Senate since 1997 and previously served as U.S. attorney in Mobile, Alabama, and also as the state’s attorney general.
He led the charge in the U.S. Senate to endorse Trump’s candidacy.
“It is an honor to nominate U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions to serve as attorney general of the United States,” said Trump. “Jeff has been a highly respected member of the U.S. Senate for 20 years. He is a world-class legal mind and considered a truly great Attorney General and U.S. Attorney in the state of Alabama. Jeff is greatly admired by legal scholars and virtually everyone who knows him.”
Sessions said he was humbled.
“My previous 15 years working in the Department of Justice were extraordinarily fulfilling. I love the department, its people and its mission. I can think of no greater honor than to lead them. With the support of my Senate colleagues, I will give all my strength to advance the department’s highest ideals.”
Trump has also offered the top Central Intelligence Agency post to Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., who has accepted, NBC News reported Friday.
Pompeo has served three terms as a Republican representative and is a member of the tea-party movement.
A West Point and Harvard Law graduate, Pompeo originally pledged his support to a Trump rival for the Republican presidential nomination, Marco Rubio.
Pompeo said he was looking forward to working with the nation’s “intelligence warriors.”
On Thursday, Trump offered Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn the position of national security adviser.
David Axelrod, the former top adviser to President Obama turned CNN commentator, on Friday panned Trump’s three latest picks for his incoming administration.
The Democratic strategist released a series of tweets in which he described Trump’s decision to stick to his core supporters for top jobs as a “monster’s ball.”
USA Today reported Sessions has been acting recently as an adviser to the Trump transition team.
The report said the GOP president-elect’s team contacted the Justice Department on Thursday to begin the process of change of command, which is to finalize with Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
“We are fully prepared to assist the incoming transition team,” the agency said in a statement. “As the president [Obama] has said, we are committed to a smooth and successful transition.’’
Trump and Sessions, the report said, found themselves in alignment in their views on immigration and trade.
Trump famously opened his campaign by raising the issue of illegal immigration and the violent criminals that were breaching America’s southern border. Sessions long has opposed amnesty for those who enter the country illegally.
USA Today pointed out that Sessions 30 years ago was rejected by the Senate Judiciary Committee for a post in the federal judiciary. But he later went on to take a seat on that very panel.
He was the ranking Republican on that committee when Obama brought his nominees, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, for Supreme Court posts. He opposed both, and Kagan later went on to advocate for same-sex “marriage” while the issue was pending before the court. She then refused a request to recuse herself from the case because of her public advocacy.
USA Today reported the “emerging defense for Sessions indicates that Trump’s team is bracing for opposition from Democrats and civil rights groups concerned about a Justice Department that might seek to roll back certain legal protections for minorities or place less emphasis on issues like voting rights.”
“Although Sessions voted to extend the Voting Rights Act when it was last reauthorized by Congress, he also agreed with the Supreme Court ruling that eliminated a key part of the landmark civil rights law.”
The New York Times noted that while Sessions is well liked in the Senate, his critics likely will focus on his work as a prosecutor in Alabama.
He was accused then of saying the KKK was fine “until I found out they smoked pot.” But Sessions dismissed that remark as a joke.