Campaign ad casts Sessions as a 'traitor' ahead of expected Senate run

A Republican PAC is out with a new ad Thursday slamming former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump attends football game with Jeff Sessions' Alabama Senate race opponent Bradley Byrne Impeachment tests Barr-Trump relationship Tide, Tigers and Trump: President hopes for home-field advantage in Alabama MORE as a “traitor” as he prepares to announce that he’s running for his old Alabama Senate seat. 

“The attorney general said, ‘I’m going to recuse myself,’ and I said, ‘Why the hell didn’t he tell me that before I put him in?’ He’s bad. He’s a bad, bad guy,” President TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE says in the ad, which was put out by GRIT PAC.

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“Time for Jeff to hang up the cleats. Say ‘no’ to traitor Jeff Sessions,” a narrator adds at the end of the 15-second clip.

GRIT PAC is an independent expenditure committee associated with former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville, who is one of several Republicans running for the chance to challenge Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) next year.

Sessions is expected to announce Thursday that he’s joining the crowded Republican primary in the race against Jones, who is widely considered one of the most vulnerable Senate incumbents up for reelection next year.

A source familiar with Sessions’s plans told The Hill that the former Alabama senator “will come out forcefully in support of [President] Trump’s agenda while denouncing Democrats’ impeachment efforts. And steps have already begun to hire campaign staff.” 

"Traitor Jeff" - GRIT PAC from GRIT PAC on Vimeo.

Sessions would face off in a primary against Rep. Bradley ByrneBradley Roberts ByrneTrump attends football game with Jeff Sessions' Alabama Senate race opponent Bradley Byrne The Hill's Campaign Report: Bloomberg looks to upend Democratic race Trump: 'We'll have to see' on endorsing Sessions's Senate bid MORE (R-Ala.), Tuberville, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, businessman Stanley Adair, state Rep. Arnold Mooney and Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreFormer AG Sessions enters Alabama Senate race Campaign ad casts Sessions as a 'traitor' ahead of expected Senate run Doug Jones on potential challenge from Sessions: Alabama GOP primary will be 'really divisive' MORE, the 2017 GOP nominee who lost to Jones in the special election to fill Sessions’s former seat.

Sessions held Jones’s Senate seat from 1997 until 2017 when he was tapped to serve as Trump’s first attorney general. However, he quickly drew the president’s ire after he recused himself from oversight of the Russia probe.

He eventually left the administration in November 2018, a day after the midterm elections, at Trump’s request. 

GRIT PAC’s ad underscores how Sessions’s opponents plan to use his feud with Trump against him in what could become a bitter primary battle.

“As Attorney General, Jeff Sessions failed President Trump by recusing himself from the Russian inquiry and completely let President Trump, conservatives, and the state of Alabama down,” GRIT PAC chairman Stan McDonald said in a statement to Yellowhammer News, which was the first to report on the ad.