Trump campaign demands Sessions stop implying he has president's support

The Trump campaign is demanding that former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsMcCabe, Rosenstein spar over Russia probe Rosenstein takes fire from Republicans in heated testimony Rosenstein defends Mueller appointment, role on surveillance warrants MORE stop linking himself to President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE in his run for his old Alabama Senate seat. 

In a letter sent to Sessions on Tuesday, the Trump campaign emphasized that the president’s support in the race is behind former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville and that it is “delusional” for the former head of the Justice Department under Trump to promote himself as the president’s biggest supporter.

The letter, first reported by The New York Times, came after the Trump campaign learned that Sessions had mentioned Trump 22 times in a mailer distributed to voters.

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“The Trump Campaign has learned that your U.S. Senate campaign is circulating mailers like the one I have enclosed, in which you misleadingly promote your connections to and ‘support’ of Trump,” campaign aide Michael Glassner wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Hill.

“We only assume your campaign is doing this to confuse President Trump’s loyal supporters in Alabama into believing the president supports your candidacy in the upcoming primary runoff election,” Glassner added. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

The Sessions mailer to which Trump’s campaign objected to was sent before the president endorsed Tuberville.

The Sessions campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill. 

Sessions launched a bid for his old Alabama Senate seat in November after Trump requested his resignation in late 2018. Despite his rocky relationship with the president, he vowed to work for his endorsement in the campaign to unseat Democratic Sen. Doug Jones, saying that the Trump “won’t have a more aggressive, determined supporter.”

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Trump placed his support behind Tuberville last month after the former college football coach advanced to a GOP primary runoff with Sessions. The runoff, initially scheduled for Tuesday, was postponed to July due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Tuberville and Sessions were virtually even in support during the state’s crowded Republican primary. But Trump’s endorsement for Tuberville could prove decisive come July. Polls conducted soon after the preliminary primary vote showed Tuberville with a 7- to 12-point lead over Sessions. 

Sessions was the first GOP senator to endorse Trump during the president’s 2016 campaign. He was tapped to be attorney general shortly after Trump won the election.

Their relationship quickly soured, however, after Sessions recused himself from overseeing the investigation into Russia’s election interference. Trump never forgave Sessions for the decision, which he called a “total joke” and which he believed left him exposed to the “witch hunt” of former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN’s Toobin warns McCabe is in ‘perilous condition’ with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill’s 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE’s probe.

“I don’t have an attorney general. It’s very sad,” Trump told Hill.TV in 2018, approximately two months before Sessions’s ouster. 

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