Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general. His path to the nomination, however, is filled with critics who charge he is a racist. Ask Sessions’ former chief counsel William Smith and he’ll tell you he has no idea what they’re talking about.
“I think anyone who has spent any amount of time with him will know that he is an honest man,” Smith said in an interview with Townhall on Wednesday. “A man who cares for people and a man who is certainly not a racist.”
Yet, the NAACP tried to drag Sessions’ character through the mud on Tuesday, staging a protest against his nomination that eventually ended in multiple arrests.
“The NAACP has served a good purpose in some ways,” Smith said. “But they’re really out of line here.”
When Smith worked for Sessions, he noted that his boss treated everyone fairly and didn’t disrespect anyone on staff.
“If you were to work for a senator, Jeff Sessions would be one of the few people you’d want to work for,” he said.
His history of standing up for civil rights include his prosecuting the leader of the Alabama KKK, making sure he received the death penalty, working on a medal of honor for Rosa Parks, and desegregating schools.
“He believes in equal justice under the law,” Smith continued. “He understands the law, he’s got the right intellect, and he’s got the right temperament. He won’t politicize the department like we’ve seen in the last eight years.”
Perry County Commissioner Albert Turner, Jr. had similar sentiments for Sessions. Although Sessions prosecuted his parents for voter fraud in the 1970s, Turner said that skin color was not taken into account.
"He is not a racist," Turner said in a statement. "As I have said before, at no time then or now has Jeff Sessions said anything derogatory about my family. He was a prosecutor at the Federal level with a job to do. He was presented with evidence by a local District Attorney that he relied on, and his office presented the case. That’s what a prosecutor does. I believe him when he says that he was simply doing his job."
With his personal assessment of Sessions, Turner said he endorses Sessions for attorney general.