Alabama senator: If I were Sessions, I’d quit and stop being Trump’s ‘whipping boy’

Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyOn The Money: Republicans expect Trump to pull controversial Fed nominee | Inside Judy Shelton's confirmation hearing | Trump extends emergency declaration at border Republicans expect Trump to withdraw controversial Fed nominee Pentagon transferring .8 billion to border wall MORE (R-Ala.), who for years represented Alabama in the Senate alongside Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsAlabama Senate contender hits Sessions in new ad: 'Hillary still ain't in jail' Barr back on the hot seat McCabe: 'I don't think I will ever be free of this president and his maniacal rage' MORE, says that if he were in the attorney general's shoes, he would stop being President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussian sanctions will boomerang States, cities rethink tax incentives after Amazon HQ2 backlash A Presidents Day perspective on the nature of a free press MORE's "whipping boy." 

"I wouldn't stay at all unless the president wanted me to stay, if he appointed me," Shelby said in an interview with Fox Business's Neil Cavuto.

"I wouldn't be anybody's whipping boy. I wouldn't be belittled because the president's saying he doesn't have any confidence in you," added Shelby.

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"So that is Jeff's challenge right now, and what he wants to do and how he does it. He's a good man. He's going through a lot; he's got a lot of challenges," he continued. 

Trump ripped Sessions on Twitter on Wednesday, calling him "disgraceful" for asking the inspector general, rather than Justice Department lawyers, to probe alleged surveillance abuses by the FBI.

 

Sessions hit back at the president shortly after, saying he would continue carrying out his responsibilities as attorney general with "integrity and honor."

"We have initiated the appropriate process that will ensure complaints against this Department will be fully and fairly acted upon if necessary," Sessions said in a statement.

"As long as I am the Attorney General, I will continue to discharge my duties with integrity and honor, and this Department will continue to do its work in a fair and impartial manner according to the law and Constitution," he added.

Sessions proved to be a loyal ally to Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, becoming the first U.S. senator to endorse then-candidate Trump. 

But he fell out of Trump's favor after recusing himself from the federal investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia's election meddling. That's led to a series of shocking attacks by Trump on his own attorney general.

On Thursday, reports circulated that Trump has been referring to Sessions as “Mr. Magoo," a reference to the bumbling cartoon character, an elderly man who lands in comic situations due to near-sightedness.