Former U.S. attorney-general Jeff Sessions enters Senate race in Alabama

Former U.S. attorney general Jeff Sessions said on Thursday he was seeking the Republican nomination to run for a U.S. Senate seat from Alabama in 2020, a position he resigned to join the Trump administration.

U.S. President Donald Trump forced out Sessions as head of the Justice Department a year ago after repeatedly criticizing his decision to recuse himself from the Russia probe.

Sessions announced his attempt to win back his old Senate seat on Fox News’s Tucker Carlson Tonight. The seat is currently held by Democrat Doug Jones, who pulled off a huge upset in 2018.

The 72-year-old Sessions was a popular figure in Alabama during 20 years as senator. But next year’s race will test how much that popularity has taken a hit under withering criticism from Trump.

Their relationship soured when Sessions, as attorney general, recused himself from an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and Trump blamed Sessions for what he frequently called a “witch hunt” by an independent prosecutor.

Sessions hasn’t returned the criticism.

“When I left President Trump’s cabinet, did I write a tell all book? No. Did I go on CNN and attack the president? No. Have I said a cross word about President Trump? No,” Sessions said in a statement announcing his candidacy.