New Kid in Town: Jeff Sessions Confirmed as Attorney General despite Controversies
Despite a series of divisive hearings during which Democrats attacked him for his record on civil rights, the US Senate finally confirmed Alabama senator Jeff Sessions as attorney general. .
The Alabama senator's nomination was among Mr Trump's most controversial. He has been dogged by racism claims and called a "southern racist caricature painful".
During the confirmation vote, Democrat Elizabeth Warren was silenced after recalling historic allegations of racism against Mr Sessions.
Sessions had previously been nominated to be a federal district judge in 1986 by the then president Ronald Reagan but allegations of racism torpedoed his nomination, which was voted down in committee. In 1996, he rebounded politically to become Alabama attorney general and then win election to the Senate, where he became one of the leading immigration hawks in the Republican caucus, reports The Guardian. In 2013, he formed a close alliance with the far-right website Breitbart in the process of derailing the immigration reform. Breitbart’s editor at the time was Steve Bannon, now a top White House aide.
With his confirmation, Sessions takes over a justice department that has already seen significant drama since Trump took the oath of office. The new president fired the acting attorney general, Sally Yates, last week after she announced that she would not defend his executive travel ban to citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Addressing the chamber after the vote, Mr Sessions said: "There is no greater honour than to represent the people of Alabama in the greatest deliberative body in the world.
"I appreciate the full debate we've had and thank those afterwards who found sufficient confidence to cast their vote to confirm me as the next attorney general. "I fully understand the august responsibility of this office."
As reported in The Guardian.