Jeff Sessions

Opinion: Saying ‘Not Trump’ Is Not Enough for GOP
Time to embrace Abraham Lincoln again

Controversial comments by President Donald Trump after violence at a Charlottesville, Virginia, protest revealed his true self, Mary C. Curtis writes. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

When Donald Trump is the bad cop, everybody can be the good cop.

Republicans lawmakers looked good by comparison over the weekend after a Charlottesville, Virginia, protest turned violent, just by calling out white supremacists and uttering the words “domestic terrorism” — something the president was never able to do.

Podcast: After Charlottesville, Civil Rights Under Trump at the Fore
The Big Story, Episode 67

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies during the Senate Select Intelligence Committee hearing on Tuesday, June 13, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Last weekend’s bloody Virginia demonstrations incited by white supremacists will focus new attention on how the Trump administration is altering the Justice Department’s approach to hate crimes and other civil rights issues, CQ legal affairs reporter Todd Ruger explains. It’s a big test for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, already under fire from the president and because of his own record on race.

Show Notes:

Flake and Primary Challenger Diverge on Response to Charlottesville Violence
Flake criticizes Trump’s response, Ward is more supportive

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., criticized President Donald Trump Tuesday for equivocating in his condemnation of white supremacy following violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two candidates who want to win the 2018 Republican Senate primary in Arizona have responded very differently to President Donald Trump’s comments following violence that broke out before a scheduled alt-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend.

On the one hand, incumbent Sen. Jeff Flake  has repeatedly launched veiled criticisms at Trump this week for his perceived soft response to the presence of neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville.

Rating Change: Alabama Senate Race No Longer Solid GOP
Polarizing potential nominee could give Democrats a shot at takeover

Alabama Republican Roy Moore finished first in Tuesday’s special election GOP Senate primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Alabama Senate special election certainly isn’t a toss-up, but the possibility that former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore might become the Republican nominee creates the potential for a Democratic upset.

President Donald Trump’s polarizing persona is creating significant risk for congressional Republicans in next year’s midterm elections. But his decision to pluck Alabama Republican Jeff Sessions out of the Senate for his Cabinet created a special election this year that is turning out to be more adventurous than expected, considering Trump won the Yellowhammer State by 28 points less than a year ago.

Brooks Declines to Endorse Moore or Strange After Conceding Defeat
Congressman announces he will seek re-election after finishing third in Senate race

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., finished third after receiving 20 percent of the vote in the Republican primary Tuesday for Alabama's special election to the U.S. Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Mo Brooks is moving on after a distant third-place finish in the Republican primary on Tuesday for the Alabama Senate special election.

And Brooks is doing that without endorsing either of the two men, Judge Roy Moore and appointed Sen. Luther Strange, who beat him to enter a runoff on Sept. 26 to decide the GOP nominee.

Moore, Strange Advance to Runoff in Alabama Senate Primary
Pair will face off on Sept. 26 for Republican nomination

Alabama Republican Roy Moore, center, was the top finisher in the special election GOP Senate primary on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Judge Roy Moore and Sen. Luther Strange will advance to a Republican primary runoff in the Alabama special election Senate race for the remaining term of former Sen. Jeff Sessions’ seat.

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Moore led Strange 39 percent to 33 percent, The Associated Press reported. Since neither candidate garnered more than 50 percent of the vote, Moore and Strange, as the top two finishers in the nine-person field, will face off in a Sept. 26 runoff. 

3 Things to Watch in Alabama Senate Primary
GOP candidates face off Tuesday

Republican Roy Moore exits the building after a Senate candidate forum in Pelham, Ala., on Aug. 4. ( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republican candidates in the Alabama Senate primary are facing off Tuesday in the special election for the remaining term of former Sen. Jeff Sessions.

If none of the nine candidates garner more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two contenders will head to a Sept. 26 runoff. The top three candidates who have been polling ahead of the rest of the field are the incumbent Sen. Luther Strange, who was appointed to the seat in February after Sessions resigned to become attorney general; Roy Moore, the former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice; and Rep. Mo Brooks of the 5th District.

Trump Condemns White Supremacists Two Days After Charlottesville Violence
‘Racism is evil,’ president declares, while calling out KKK and similar groups

President Donald Trump — under pressure to explicitly condemn a weekend rally by white supremacists in Virginia that ended in bloodshed — denounced racism as "evil" Monday, singling out the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis as "repugnant." (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Under intense pressure from fellow Republicans, President Donald Trump on Monday forcefully condemned the Klu Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and white supremacist groups after refusing to do so for two days after racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The central Virginia city was the scene of a car attack by a Nazi sympathizer that left a counter-protester dead and 19 others injured during the second day of rallies organized by white nationalists trying to stop the removal of a statute of Confederate military commander Robert E. Lee. But in remarks Saturday, Trump criticized groups on “many sides” and his silence about the Nazi and white supremacist groups continued throughout Sunday and into the first half of Monday.

New Poll Shows Moore Leading Strange, Brooks in Alabama Senate Race
Former judge also leads in hypothetical runoff with Strange, poll shows

Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore holds an article about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell during a Alabama Senate candidate forum earlier this month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A new poll shows Alabama Sen. Luther Strange and Rep. Mo Brooks trailing former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore five days ahead of the state’s special election Senate primary Tuesday.

Moore was supported by 30.7 percent of those polled, with Strange and Brooks trailing with 22.6 percent and 18 percent, respectively. The three are competing in a crowded 9-candidate GOP field for the remaining term of former Sen. Jeff Sessions. Strange was appointed to the seat in February after Sessions resigned to become U.S. attorney general. 

Could Trump Shake Up the Alabama Senate Race?
President backs incumbent Luther Strange one week before GOP primary

Alabama Sen. Luther Strange arrives for a candidate forum held by the Shelby County Republican Party in Pelham, Ala., on Aug. 4. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump threw his political weight behind Republican Sen. Luther Strange just days before Alabama voters head to the polls in the special election for the remaining term of former Sen. Jeff Sessions. How other candidates respond could determine whether that endorsement makes a difference.

Polls show Strange, Rep. Mo Brooks and former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore are the top three contenders in the crowded Republican primary field. Strange was appointed to the seat in February after Sessions resigned to become attorney general.