Ala. Rep. claims ‘war on whites’ enables criticism of Sessions

A Republican Alabama congressman claims Democrats are carrying out a “war on whites” — and sweeping criticism of Donald Trump’s attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions is supposedly but one example.

“It’s really about political power and racial division and what I’ve referred to on occasion as the ‘war on whites,’” Rep. Mo Brooks said during a radio interview on Wednesday ahead of Sessions’ second confirmation hearing. “They are trying to motivate the African-American vote to vote-bloc for Democrats by using every ‘Republican is a racist’ tool that they can envision. Even if they have to lie about it.”

Brooks was responding to a question about Sen. Sessions’ widely criticized record on civil rights and, in particular, his record on the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which prohibits racial discrimination in elections.

Sessions called the landmark act “intrusive” in the 1980s, and was around the same time denied a federal judgeship after a former colleague testified that he had made light of the KKK while calling civil rights organizations such as the NAACP “un-American” and “communist-inspired.”

Booker says Sessions lacks the ‘courageous empathy’ to be AG

Sessions has been accused of being racist for allegedly making light of the KKK while calling civil rights organizations "un-American" and "Communist-inspired." 

Sessions has been accused of being racist for allegedly making light of the KKK while calling civil rights organizations “un-American” and “Communist-inspired.” 

(Evan Vucci/AP)

To Brooks, however, such concerns are but signs of a calculated smear campaign.

“If they have to besmirch the reputation of a good man, Jeff Sessions, in order to achieve their political goals, they, as a group, are not hesitant to do so,” Brooks said.

Sessions, who has strongly denied accusations of racism against him, was grilled by Democrats during his second confirmation hearing on Wednesday.

"i will always choose conscience and country," Sen. Cory Booker said, defending his decision to testify against his own Senate collague. 

“i will always choose conscience and country,” Sen. Cory Booker said, defending his decision to testify against his own Senate collague. 

(Cliff Owen/AP)

Democratic New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker testified against his fellow Senate colleague in an unprecedented move he defended as a “call to conscience.”

WATCH LIVE: Jeff Sessions faces tough crowd in AG hearing

“I know that some of my colleagues are unhappy that I’m breaking with Senate tradition to testify against the nomination of one of my colleagues,” said Booker, who counts as one of Sessions’ most prominent opponents. “But I believe, like perhaps all of my colleagues, that in the choice between standing with Senate norms or standing up for what my conscience tells me is best for our country, I will always choose conscience and country.”

Booker then ripped into Sessions’ record, arguing that the Alabama Senator has not proven that he is willing to ensure equal rights for all Americans.

“If confirmed, Sen. Sessions will be required to pursue justice for women, but his record indicates that he won’t,” Booker said. “He will be expected to defend the equal rights of gay and lesbian Americans, but his record indicates that he won’t. He will be expected to defend voting rights, but his record indicates that he won’t. He will be expected to defend the rights of immigrants and affirm their human dignity, but his record indicates he won’t.”

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