Jeff Sessions – a friend of the Hungarian government loses Alabama GOP Senate runoff

Seventy-three year-old former Attorney General and friend of the Orbán government, Jeff Sessions failed to reclaim his old Senate seat.  He lost to former Auburn University football coach, Tommy Tuberville in the Alabama GOP runoff.  It was a bitter defeat to Sessions a native Alabaman; Tuberville just recently moved to the state and will face incumbent Democrat Doug Jones in November.

This was the first loss (!) in his 30+ years in politics.  He has been Alabama’s influential conservative Republican Senator for two decades and later served as President Trump’s first Attorney General.

Although the Senator was one of the first US politicians to endorse Trump, since 2017 Sessions has been continuously attacked by Trump after he recused himself from an investigation into Russia’s election meddling.  Sessions resigned in 2018.

Trump continued his attacks even after Sessions’s resignation.  During his Senate primary the President endorsed his opponent Tuberville, a political novice.  Trump mocked Sessions’s southern accent while calling him “weak” and “ineffective” and often said that Sessions is “mixed up and confused.”   According to press reports Trump even called him a “dumb Southerner” and “mentally retarded.” In response, Sessions declared that he won’t comment on Trump’s “juvenile insults.”

Sessions developed a surprisingly close relationship with the Orbán regime.  Hungary’s then Ambassador Réka Szemerkényi bragged that she met “half” the US government and had three meetings (!) with Jeff Sessions in 2016.  Three meetings?  Why would the US Attorney General spend precious time with the insignificant ambassador of a tiny European country?

Ambassador Szemerkényi thanks Sessions.

Szemerkényi was also instrumental organizing the Budapest visit of Trump’s campaign advisor Carter Page at the end of August 2016.   Page was in contact with J.D. Gordon and Jeff Sessions and during his congressional hearing he couldn’t recall the government officials he met in Budapest.   Page was considered a “KGB asset” by US authorities and the FBI shadowed him.  Apparently, they were mistaken. (Click here to read András Göllner’s article about Carter Page’s Budapest trip)

Orbán’s strong anti-immigration rhetoric and Christian stand have scored points with Sessions and I was not surprised that during his Senate campaign, he gave an hour-long interview to Budapest-based conservative Danube Institute.  You may watch the interview here.

I hope that one day Sessions will publish his memoirs and we learn about his dealings with Amb. Szemerkényi and the reasons for his special attention to Hungary.

György Lázár

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *