Jeff Sessions announced on Thursday that he’s running for the U.S. Senate seat he gave up when he became President Donald Trump’s first attorney general in 2017. But his campaign announcement video seems aimed at an audience of one: Trump.
Sessions used the video to remind Trump of how loyal ― or at least silent ― he’d been since leaving the Justice Department:
This is a crucial time in our nation's history. The left has become unhinged and they are threatening the very things that make America great. I'm running for U.S. Senate because we have to fight back. Let's go! https://t.co/E1Ti9aYKNT pic.twitter.com/IlueZhTiT4— Jeff Sessions (@jeffsessions) November 8, 2019
Trump was famously unhappy with Sessions for recusing himself from the probe into Russian involvement in the 2016 election, a move that ultimately led to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller. To show his displeasure, Trump would attack Sessions on Twitter and in interviews, and told NBC News that his appointment was “the biggest mistake” of his presidency.
Trump even mocked Sessions at public events:
Trump does an impression of Jeff Sessions: "I'm gonna recuse myself" pic.twitter.com/vJMKsovTsp— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) March 2, 2019
Trump is reportedly not thrilled with the idea of Sessions running for his old seat. According to a New York Times article citing an unnamed source briefed on the president’s discussions, Trump will not support him.
Sessions’ campaign announcement seemed to be an attempt to win back Trump’s support ― or at least ward off an attack by his old boss. And critics definitely noticed:
This isn't a campaign ad, it's a hostage video. https://t.co/IXdtS3I9aY— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) November 8, 2019
Jeff Sessions has Stockholm Syndrome. https://t.co/Nnw54DQMbb— (((The Alex Nowrasteh))) (@AlexNowrasteh) November 8, 2019
Jeff Sessions: “My name is Reek.”— Tania Singh (@TwinklingTania) November 8, 2019
Somebody needs to tell Jeff Sessions that having dignity isn’t dishonorable. https://t.co/wVOBjYMzgO— Kyle Whitmire (@WarOnDumb) November 8, 2019
This Jeff Sessions ad is even sadder when you watch it.— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) November 8, 2019
He's a broken man. https://t.co/SV3TqD2upM
So this 30 second "ad" says NOTHING about what Jeff Sessions would do for Alabama, but instead trying to get on @realDonaldTrump good side...because Trump apparently said he would go against Sessions if he ran in Alabama? Awkward, to say the least.https://t.co/8bDyq0B9sb— Nikki Medoro (@NikkiMedoro) November 8, 2019
Jeff Sessions is officially running to get back his old Senate seat.— Evan Schreiber (@SchreiberEvan) November 8, 2019
EXCEPT: He fails to verbally mention that fact in this :30 video clip released by his campaign. In fact, he doesn't once say the words "Senate" or "running"
cc: @parksandrecnbc @smrtgrls @mradamscott 🤣 https://t.co/0Y5tIPI06W
I thought the Jeff Sessions statement was bad. Then I saw the Jeff Sessions campaign launch video... pic.twitter.com/CjDXaxHm4C— Old Rant Dump (@TrumpinTheShark) November 8, 2019
Oh dear.— Old Rant Dump (@TrumpinTheShark) November 8, 2019
I didn't realize Jeff Sessions had cut an ad saying the same groveling guff as his campaign's press release!
This is BAD.
Honestly feels like Kate McKinnon and the beginning of a @nbcsnl sketch.
A total personality cult. pic.twitter.com/ZeBsh0zc4v
This embarrassment of a campaign launch video from Jeff Sessions is a relatively small price to pay next to the atrocities he’s responsible for.— Member of the month (@cristianafarias) November 8, 2019
Like giving the world Stephen Miller. Or rescinding protections for #DACA recipients. Or providing legal cover for family separation. https://t.co/Bv5dXreUmV
First Jeff Sessions campaign ad features him making no reference to the office he's actually seeking https://t.co/pqdp6EvAA1— Gideon Resnick (@GideonResnick) November 8, 2019
Jeff Sessions' kickoff video is up. His main platform? I've never badmouthed Trump. https://t.co/LbMyTLURix— Jennifer Hayden (@Scout_Finch) November 8, 2019
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.