Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin affirmed Thursday morning that he will vote to confirm Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions as the next attorney general in the incoming Trump administration.
During two days of Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, Sessions was grilled regarding his history and how he would serve in capacity as AG. Fox and Friends co-host Steve Doocy referenced Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s opposition to Sessions during the hearing, before asking Manchin if he would vote to confirm his colleague from the other side of the aisle.
Democrat Sen. Cory Booker testified against Sessions during Wednesday’s committee session, and Schumer was quick to follow by announcing he will oppose Sessions’ nomination.
Sessions needs only a simple majority in the Republican majority Senate to receive confirmation.
“I have never detected, never one ounce of detection, that Jeff Sessions is what they have said,” Manchin replied. “I can only say how I know the person, and I’m voting for the person I know”:
Manchin said unequivocally:
Jeff Sessions has my vote. He’s my friend. I’ve built relationships and friendships here. I don’t care whether you’re Democrats, Republicans, independents. We were sent here, basically sent here, to work to make America better. And Jeff Sessions, I’ve known him for six years. We’ve been friends. We talk about an array of things.
He stated that Sessions handled himself well as Democrats made accusations against him.
Now, some people say he’s too conservative. Well, some people are too liberal. You know, the bottom line is President-elect Trump won the election. He ought to have a right to put his staff together. If Jeff goes through the background check, the FBI background check, the ethics check, and he turns in his financial disclosures, then that basically should allow him to put his team together.
Manchin’s words affirm the West Virginia Democrat’s statement from mid-November that he will vote to confirm Sessions. West Virginia voted 68 percent to elect Donald Trump as the next President of the United States. Little more than a week earlier, before knowing the results of the November 8 election, Manchin had reaffirmed his intention, despite rumors, to remain a Democrat and even if the election resulted in a 50-50 Republican-Democrat split in the Senate. Republicans came out of the election with 52 seats, for a majority in the legislative body.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana.