Dem senator backing Sessions for attorney general

Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRyan: 'The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally' Conservatives moving to impeach Rosenstein soon: report Senators urge DOJ to probe whether Russians posed as Islamic extremist hackers to harass US military families MORE's (R-Ala.) bid to become the next attorney general has the backing of a Democratic senator.

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinMorrisey accuses Manchin of 'lying' to Trump, attacks ‘liberal’ record The Hill's Morning Report — Trump, Putin meet under cloud of Mueller’s Russia indictments Doug Jones walks tightrope on Supreme Court nominee MORE (D-W.Va.) says he's supporting President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpShocking summit with Putin caps off Trump’s turbulent Europe trip GOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Trump stuns the world at Putin summit MORE's pick of Sessions, journalist Salena Zito tweeted Friday afternoon. 

.@Sen_JoeManchin says in our interview in Charleston West Virginia he supports @SenatorSessions for Trump's AG pic.twitter.com/8kMl4IHs5O

— SalenaZito (@SalenaZito) November 18, 2016
ADVERTISEMENT
Manchin's support is a big boost to Sessions's chances. He needs a simple majority in the Senate to be confirmed, and the GOP is expected to control 52 seats in the chamber after next month's Louisiana runoff elections. 
 
Republicans have largely rushed to back their colleague, and CNN reported that Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Overnight Defense: Washington reeling from Trump, Putin press conference Feehery: The long game MORE (R-Ky.) has pledged to help push through his nomination.
 
Top Democrats have voiced skepticism about the pick of Sessions, while acknowledging they personally know and get along with the GOP senator. 

Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Chris Coons (Del.), Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) and Richard Blumenthal(Conn.), all Judiciary Committee members, pledged to give Sessions a fair but thorough vetting process.

Feinstein, who will be the committee's top Democrat in 2017, also appeared to fire a warning shot that Sessions will have to show he’s not too loyal to Trump.

But Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann Warren2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser Senate Dems rip Trump after Putin news conference Sanders: Trump should confront Putin over Mueller probe indictments MORE (D-Mass.) called on Trump to drop Sessions, warning if he didn't, the Senate could block the GOP senator for the second time. 

Senators blocked Sessions from getting a federal judgeship in 1986 after allegations — that Sessions has repeatedly denied — that he called an African-American assistant U.S. attorney “boy” and called the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union “un-American.”

Manchin, who faces a potentially difficult reelection bid in 2018, has created headlines since last week's election for breaking with his party. After outgoing Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick The dishonesty of the deep state The SCOTUS nomination clearly demonstrates that elections have consequences MORE (D-Nev.) ripped Trump in a statement, Manchin called his rhetoric an "absolute embarrassment."