WASHINGTON – Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and President Donald Trump are fighting on social media over a primary battle in Alabama that could be key for Republicans to maintain control of the United States Senate.
Trump has targeted Sessions for retribution, as Sessions reused itself in 2017 from a U.S. investigation into Russian election interference.
In a Twitter message on Saturday night, Trump told Sessions to quit the game because “you didn’t have the courage and ruined many lives.”
“Mr. President, Alabama can and trusts me, as do conservatives across the country,” Sessions tweeted Saturday morning, referring to an earlier Trump attack. “You may have forgotten. They trusted me when I got out and risked that trust for you. ‘
In a previous tweet, Sessions said Trump’s “personal feelings don’t determine who elects Alabama as a senator.”
The Trump campaign declined to comment on Sessions’ tweets.
Sessions spent 20 years as a U.S. Senator before joining the Trump administration in 2017. Forced by Trump in November 2018, he now hopes to return to the Senate.
Sessions faces a primary runoff against former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville. Trump supports Tuberville in the July 14 confrontation.
The winner will face Democratic Senator Doug Jones in November, who in 2017 was the first Democrat to win an Alabama Senate seat in a quarter of a century after the Republican nominee was accused of sexually harassing teenage girls as adults.
Ousting Jones in conservative Alabama can help Republicans compensate for possible losses in four other Senate races considered toss-ups.
Republicans control the Senate with 53 out of 100 seats, leaving a narrow margin of six seats.
Trump blames Sessions for US Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation in Russia, which put a damper on his presidency but did not lead to charges against Trump.