DISCLAIMER: This article comes from the Washington Post. Yes, you all know what that means, but before you click away we have to say there are some interesting facts here. Yes they have a liberal spin on them, which we will try to mitigate. We want to show you the facts. And there are facts about Sessions you’re going to LOVE. So check this out.
After Sessions became one of the first members of Congress to endorse Trump this February, he became an adviser on almost every major decision and policy proposal Trump made during the campaign:
–A top Sessions aide helped Trump communicate his immigration policy
–Sessions chaired Trump national security advisory committee
–Sessions advised Trump on who to choose for vice president. (Sessions was also in the running himself for the No. 2 job.)
“The president-elect has been unbelievably impressed with Senator Sessions and his phenomenal record as Alabama’s attorney general and U.S. attorney,” a Trump transition statement released Thursday read. “It is no wonder the people of Alabama re-elected him without opposition.”
Here’s crash course in a politician likely to be a pivotal figure in Trump’s administration:
Sessions is popular back home: Aside from his first election in 1996, Sessions has never won with less than 59 percent of the vote. In 2014, he ran unopposed.
He’s “amnesty’s worst enemy”: The conservative National Review crowned Sessions with that title in 2014, with good reason. Sessions has opposed nearly every immigration bill that has come before the Senate the past two decades that has included a path to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally.
In 2007, Sessions got a bill passed essentially banning for 10 years federal contractors who hire illegal immigrants.
“Legal immigration is the primary source of low-wage immigration into the United States,” Sessions argued in a 2015 Washington Post op-ed. “… What we need now is immigration moderation: slowing the pace of new arrivals so that wages can rise, welfare rolls can shrink and the forces of assimilation can knit us all more closely together.”
He’s a climate change skeptic: At a 2015 hearing for Environmental Protection Agency’s Gina McCarthy, Sessions said: “Carbon pollution is CO2, and that’s really not a pollutant; that’s a plant food, and it doesn’t harm anybody except that it might include temperature increases.”
He’s got a populist streak: Here’s one area where he and Trump likely get along swell. Wall Street and corporate executives are often the antagonists in the Alabama senator’s speeches. “A small group of CEOs don’t get to set immigration policy for the country,” he said in a 2014 speech opposing a multi-billion-dollar bill to help control the stem of influx of Central American refugees on the border.
As hard-line as Sessions can be, he’s worked with Democrats before: “Say what you will about him,” former longtime Senate Democratic communications aide Jim Manley told the Almanac of American Politics. “He was always nice to [the late Ted] Kennedy and other Democrats as well.”
Sessions has joined with Democrats to support criminal justice reform legislation like reducing the disparity between sentence time for crack and powder cocaine. In 2010 he teamed up with Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) on a proposal to put strict limits on non-military federal spending. It fell one vote short of passing.
In 2016, he’s gone from fringe to mainstream: Aside from immigration battles, Sessions mostly operated in the background on Capitol Hill. Until 2016. His mix of hard-line immigration position and a populist streak had made him a tea party star and thus a coveted endorsement catch for Republican presidential candidates catering to the tea party. In presidential primary debates, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) would even brag about his ties to Sessions.
But Sessions chose Trump: “I told Donald Trump this isn’t a campaign, this is a movement.”