Sessions says he has no plans to return to Senate

Former Attorney General and Alabama Senator Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsInterior chief Zinke to leave administration Trump, Christie met to discuss chief of staff job: report Chief justice of California Supreme Court leaves GOP over Kavanaugh confirmation MORE (R) hinted to Politico that he is done with politics after his ouster from the Department of Justice despite rumors he was considering running for his old Senate seat in 2020.

"I've been clearing my brain. I think that's a fair statement,” told Politico on Wednesday. “I’ll go to Alabama, do some things and then that will clarify things a little more before I worry about making a statement.” 

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“No. I mean, no,” he added when asked if he misses the Senate. “I could go back and spend time in the woods. I’ve got 10 grandchildren, oldest is 11.”

Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), who won an upset special election in 2017 and will be running for a full term in 2020, is widely considered to be the most vulnerable incumbent in the next election cycle. Sessions, who remains popular in the state, was floated by some as a potential Republican candidate. 

But Sessions endured withering criticism from President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden, Sanders lead field in Iowa poll The Memo: Cohen fans flames around Trump Memo Comey used to brief Trump on dossier released: report MORE for his recusal from the Justice Department's investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. His actions raised concerns that he could face a primary challenge from a Republican more personally aligned with the White House. He did not face a general election challenge in 2014. 

“The Russian Witch Hunt Hoax continues, all because Jeff Sessions didn’t tell me he was going to recuse himself...I would have quickly picked someone else. So much time and money wasted, so many lives ruined...and Sessions knew better than most that there was No Collusion!” Trump tweeted in June.

Sessions has also reportedly told colleagues that returning to the Senate would be a demotion after serving in Trump’s Cabinet, according to Politico. 

Flipping Jones’s seat will be crucial for Republicans in 2020, as GOP incumbents in states like Alaska, Maine, Colorado and North Carolina will likely face competitive opponents. Republicans will have a 53-47 majority to defend in the next Senate session.