President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to serve as the United States attorney general under the incoming administration, according to reports.
The conservative Sessions has been a supporter and top adviser for Trump since the beginning of the presidential campaign. He was the first, and only, Trump backer in the Senate for a large portion of the campaign.
Sessions, a former prosecutor, was first elected to the Senate in 1996 and serves on several important committees, including the Judiciary, Armed Services and Budget committees. He is known on Capitol Hill as an ardent supporter of strong border security and has opposed any kind of citizenship for illegal immigrants.
Prior to his Senate career, Sessions served as the United States attorney in Alabama for a dozen years. Accusations of racism during Sessions' tenure as U.S. attorney would eventually derail his nomination by former President Ronald Reagan to be a federal judge.
In 1986, Reagan nominated Sessions to be a federal district court judge in Alabama, but the nomination was blocked in the Senate after several of Sessions’ former colleagues testified that he made racially insensitive comments about black people.
Criticized for alleged racist comments
One former colleague, Thomas Figures, at the time a federal prosecutor, testified that Sessions called him “boy,” and warned him to “be careful what you say to white folks.”
Sessions denied the claims during his testimony, but his nomination was still rejected. At the time, Sessions was only the second nominee ever blocked by the Senate Judiciary Committee.