President Donald Trump sparred with his former Attorney General Jeff Sessions over Twitter on Saturday, days before Sessions competes in a bitter Tuesday election for his old Alabama Senate seat.
After again endorsing Sessions' opponent in the Republican run-off – former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville – Trump blasted Sessions as "a disaster who has let us all down. We don’t want him back in Washington!"
Trump has held a grudge against Sessions ever since he recused himself in the investigation into Russian election interference that marred the first two years of Trump's presidency. Trump has explicitly tied his endorsement of Tuberville to Sessions' recusal.
"My honor and integrity are far more important than these juvenile insults," Sessions fired back, before criticizing Tuberville. "Your scandal ridden candidate is too cowardly to debate. As you know, Alabama does not take orders from Washington."
Big Senate Race in Alabama on Tuesday. Vote for @TTuberville, he is a winner who will never let you down. Jeff Sessions is a disaster who has let us all down. We don’t want him back in Washington!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2020
I’ve taken the road less travelled. Not sought fame or fortune. My honor and integrity are far more important than these juvenile insults. Your scandal ridden candidate is too cowardly to debate. As you know, Alabama does not take orders from Washington. https://t.co/1I6ROih43E
— Jeff Sessions (@jeffsessions) July 11, 2020
Trump eventually fired Sessions in 2018, saying he would have never hired him in the first place if he'd known he would recuse himself from the investigation. Sessions' recusal eventually led to Robert Mueller's appointment to special counsel and a nearly two-year election probe that shadowed Trump's early years in office. Trump was ultimately not charged with a crime.
Over the years, Sessions has gone from being one of Trump's most vocal supporters to becoming one his frequent subjects of ridicule. Sessions was the first senator to endorse Trump in the 2016 Republican presidential primary, giving his campaign legitimacy before that year's Super Tuesday nominating contests. Sessions supported Trump long before the official endorsement, famously wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat at a Trump rally in August 2015 and praising Trump's border wall plans.
In a television interview last summer, Trump called Sessions' appointment as attorney general the "biggest mistake" of his presidency.
Trump's attacks on Sessions have continued throughout his Senate campaign. In May, Trump told Sessions to drop out of the race.
Despite Trump's fierce opposition to Sessions' bid for Senate, Sessions has continually used his support of Trump as a key part of his campaign. Sessions has worn a red "Make America Great Again" hat in advertisements, and mentioned that he was the first senator to endorse Trump.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jeff Sessions blasts Trump's 'insults' ahead of Alabama Senate runoff