Jones, Sessions spar over renaming of military bases

Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) and former U.S. Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe 'pitcher of warm spit' — Veepstakes and the fate of Mike Pence FBI officials hid copies of Russia probe documents fearing Trump interference: book Tuberville breaks DC self-quarantine policy to campaign MORE sparred Saturday over renaming Army bases that are named after Confederate military officers. 

Sessions, who represented Alabama in the Senate for 20 years before becoming attorney general, first attacked Jones over his vote on the Senate Armed Services Committee to add an amendment to a defense spending bill supporting the renaming of the bases. 

.@DougJones vote to remove from all military facilities and installations the names of every soldier who fought for the Confederacy betrays the character and decency of every soldier who fought for the South in that bloody and monumental war,” Sessions, who is running for the chance to challenge Jones in the Alabama Senate race this year, tweeted.

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“Make no mistake, this is not a little matter. It reveals a profound deficit in his understanding of what it means to be AL’s Senator. Doug Jones’ vote seeks to erase AL’s & America’s history and thousands of Alabamians for doing what they considered to be their duty at the time.”

“Delete your account Jeff.  This came out of a Republican controlled Senate committee on a strong bi-partisan vote.  I know it’s tough for you to be on the right side of history when it comes to the Confederacy, but you should give it a try,” Jones fired back.

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Sessions cited Jones’s response as evidence that he would “never back down to the woke mob” if he was elected senator.

Jones emphasized that the vote on the armed services panel was bipartisan and dealt only with Confederate figures, not Thomas Jefferson and George Washington like Sessions had suggested.

“Doug, you are a radical leftist, a pawn for Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerPostal Service says it lost .2 billion over three-month period A three-trillion dollar stimulus, but Chuck Schumer for renewable energy — leading businesses want to change that Democrats try to force Trump to boost medical supplies production MORE. You voted to impeach President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoe Arpaio loses bid for his old position as sheriff Trump brushes off view that Russia denigrating Biden: 'Nobody's been tougher on Russia than I have' Trump tees up executive orders on economy but won't sign yet MORE, reject Justice Kavanaugh, voted against an end to late-term abortions, and now you join with the woke mob to erase history. YOU are history,” Sessions tweeted back.

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Sessions has a long history of taking controversial stands on racial issues, with critics calling his past rhetoric racist.

The former attorney general is currently running against former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville in the Senate GOP runoff for the chance to face off against Jones.

Tuberville did not weigh in on the controversy.

Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill have called for the bases to be renamed amid a wave of protests and civic unrest over police brutality and systemic racism spurred by the death of George Floyd. Defense officials have expressed a willingness to rename the bases as well. 

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Floyd, an unarmed black man, died in police custody on Memorial Day after a former officer kneeled on his neck for over eight minutes. 

The debate has set up a clash between the two ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, with President Trump pushing back on the effort.

"These Monumental and very Powerful Bases have become part of a Great American Heritage, and a history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom," Trump tweeted. "Therefore, my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations.”

There are 10 military bases across the country that are named after Confederate officials, including one, Fort Rucker, which is located in Alabama.