Neo-Confederate John Ashcroft Defends Trump AG Pick Jeff Sessions
With his choice for Attorney General facing a growing backlash on Capitol Hill, President-elect Donald Trump is circling the wagons in defense of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions. On Sunday, Team Trump issued a press release declaring, "Civil rights and law enforcement groups are strongly supporting Sen. Jeff Sessions for Attorney General." Near the top of the list of those seeking to deflect charges of racism and anti-gay and anti-immigrant bias is former Bush Attorney General John Ashcroft. The one-time Missouri Governor and Senator denounced the criticism of Sessions this way:
"The political 'drive-by-assassins' who have trotted out the 30-year-old fabrication of racism are utterly devoid of the truth. When attackers resort to 30-year-old falsehoods it is clear evidence of their lack of substantive objection.
"Jeff is devoted to the proposition that equity before the law and in our society is at the heart and soul of what it means to be American. Nothing so completely rivals the injustice of racism more profoundly than the reckless labelling of persons who are not.
"Jeff Sessions has earned the trust of America with over three decades of fair and equitable service to the entirety of our culture. He deserves our commendation and support, not conjured, baseless attacks."
Now, it's no surprise that Trump would turn to a past Republican Attorney General to testify on behalf of the man who would be the next one. But with John Ashcroft, President-elect Trump has also turned to yet another unreconstructed Neo-Confederate to make the case.
You read that right. As Josh Marshall explained in "John Ashcroft's Rebel Yell" for Slate in December 2000:
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