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 ShelbySenate GOP eyes early exit Dems discussing government funding bill into February GOP short of votes on Trump's controversial Fed pick MORE (R-Ala.) said Wednesday he will endorse former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump's policies on refugees are as simple as ABCs Ocasio-Cortez, Velázquez call for convention to decide Puerto Rico status White House officials voted by show of hands on 2018 family separations: report 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 ByrneBottom line Jerry Carl wins GOP Alabama runoff to replace Rep. Bradley Byrne Jeff Sessions loses comeback bid in Alabama runoff MORE (R-Ala.) and Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreVulnerable Senate Democrat urges unity: 'Not about what side of the aisle we're on' Sessions hits back at Trump days ahead of Alabama Senate runoff Judge allows Roy Moore lawsuit over Sacha Baron Cohen prank to proceed 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 TrumpObama calls on Senate not to fill Ginsburg's vacancy until after election Planned Parenthood: 'The fate of our rights' depends on Ginsburg replacement Progressive group to spend M in ad campaign on Supreme Court vacancy 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?"