President Donald Trump is not supportive of former Attorney General Jeff sessions running for a Senate seat in Alabama, according to Sen. Richard Shelby, of Alabama.
Shelby informed The Hill on Thursday that he broached the matter of Sessions potential candidacy with the president, but that he was “not encouraging” about the former senator turned cabinet official making a bid to take back the seat that he vacated to work at the White House.
“I did talk to [Sessions]. I talked to the president about it to … about if Sessions ran, he was not encouraging,” Shelby said, according to The Hill. “How do I say it? He was not on board, OK?”
When asked if the president had expanded on his lack of enthusiasm about Sessions political future, the senator declined to comment, saying that he didn’t wan tot “get into that.”
“We talked about every possibility. We talked about the seat, basically, you know how to win the seat,” Shelby said.
While the White House did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment, it was reported that the fate of the Senate seats in Alabama came up as part of a larger discussion about the state’s politics, and Shelby raised the issue because Sessions has “been in the news. He’s been mentioned,” Shelby said, according to The Hill.
“I think he would be formidable but he would [have] multi-battles. He might be having to struggle if the president was against him … and then with his opponents,” Shelby added.
Sessions declined to discuss whether he would run when questioned about it in May at Shelby’s birthday celebration, and again when asked at the SALT Conference in Las Vegas, where he said that the hasn’t “made a formal announcement about the Senate race, but I am interested about the issues.”
“I’d love to see us bring more intellectual heft behind those positions. I think it exists, and maybe I can contribute some in that,” Sessions said,” according to The Hill.
Shelby said, based on his discussions with Sessions, “I don’t think he’s going to run, but he hasn’t said unequivocally he’s not,” Shelby said. “He would be a formidable candidate if he ran, but he would ask himself why would he want to come up here.”