GOP senator says he'll endorse Sessions if he runs for Senate seat

GOP senator says he'll endorse Sessions if he runs for Senate seat
© Greg Nash

Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyLawmakers strike spending deal to avert shutdown McConnell accuses Democrats of stonewalling funding talks with wall demands  On The Money: Pelosi, Trump tout deal on new NAFTA | McConnell says no trade vote until impeachment trial wraps up | Lawmakers push spending deadline to Thursday MORE (R-Ala.) said Wednesday he will endorse former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsLisa Page sues DOJ, FBI over alleged privacy violations Sessions leads GOP Senate primary field in Alabama, internal poll shows Trump rebukes FBI chief Wray over inspector general's Russia inquiry MORE if the former Trump Cabinet official gets into the Alabama Senate race.

Shelby, who served in the Senate with Sessions for decades, said the two spoke on Monday and "a lot of indications point to him running," though Sessions hasn't made a final decision.

"Oh yeah, if he runs I will. He's always endorsed me. He's my friend," Shelby said Wednesday when asked if he would support Sessions.

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Sessions has been reaching out to the Alabama delegation as he weighs a bid for his old Senate seat. There's already a crowded GOP primary field, including Rep. Bradley ByrneBradley Roberts ByrneSessions leads GOP Senate primary field in Alabama, internal poll shows Israeli, Palestinian business leaders seek Trump boost for investment project Sessions vows to 'work for' Trump endorsement MORE (R-Ala.) and Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreThe job no GOP senator wants: 'I'd rather have a root canal' Former AG Sessions enters Alabama Senate race Campaign ad casts Sessions as a 'traitor' ahead of expected Senate run MORE, who lost the 2017 Senate race to Democrat Doug Jones.

Shelby noted that Sessions had initially called him approximately a week ago and that the two have discussed the Senate race on other occasions this year.

Sessions left the Senate in early 2017 after President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Vulnerable Democrats tout legislative wins, not impeachment Trump appears to set personal record for tweets in a day MORE selected him to become attorney general. But he was ousted last year after months of public attacks by Trump, who was frustrated by Sessions's decision to recuse himself from an investigation into Russia's election meddling in 2016.

Shelby declined to say if the two discussed Trump during their call.

Trump has continued to lash out at Sessions, including calling him a "total disaster" during an interview published earlier this month.

Shelby told The Hill earlier this year that he discussed a potential Senate bid by Sessions with Trump, but characterized the president as "not on board."

"I did talk to [Sessions]. I talked to the president about it too … About if Sessions ran, he was not encouraging," Shelby said at the time. "How do I say it? He was not on board, OK?"