Rand Paul

What Was Rand Paul Thinking in Voting for Jeff Sessions? That the A.G. Agrees With President Trump (Updated)

Senator and staff explain the puzzle of opposing Loretta Lynch, supporting Jeff Sessions, and threatening to filibuster Elliott Abrams


For the past 20+ hours, ever since the majority-wielding Senate GOP voted unanimously to confirm Jeff Sessions as the new attorney general, libertarian Twitter has lit up with versions of the following question:

The exasperation is understandable given Sessions' nearly universal bad rep among libertarians—not just here at Reason, but in Randphilic sites like Rare, where you can find such headlines as "Jeff Sessions is a terrible choice for attorney general." So how does Paul explain the apparent discrepancy between opposing President Barack Obama's nominee Loretta Lynch over concerns about civil asset forfeiture, and then voting for a guy who is equally wretched on the same issue?

We are all so much older then. ||| Reason

In a Facebook post last night, the self-described "libertarianish" senator pointed to two differentiators: Sessions (unlike Lynch) is unequivocal on the illegality of droning American non-combatants, and also he "agrees with the president." Excerpt:

[I]n 2013, I took to the Senate floor for 13 hours to force then-Attorney General Eric Holder to answer a question on the extent of the president's "national security powers": "Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?"

Eric Holder answered clearly, "No."

It is of the utmost importance for the Attorney General to recognize there are fundamental limits to presidential power. When I contacted Jeff Sessions to ask him the same question, he affirmed that he held this same position.

One of the most important duties of a senator is providing advice and consent to the president's nominees.

We don't pick the nominees; we consent to their qualifications. As Senator Sessions agrees with the president, is of good character, and upheld the doctrine protecting American citizens, I voted to confirm him today.

Italics mine. So Paul's dealbreaker now appears to be drone strikes on American soil; other objectionable beliefs are subject to the test of whether they are at variance with the nominating president. Point being, if you block Sessions, would you get a similarly bad-on-many-issues Rudy Giuliani or Chris Christie in his stead? With Lynch, according to Paul's chief strategist Doug Stafford, there was hope that her views on asset forfeiture and other areas of concern conflicted enough with those of the more reform-friendly Obama that her potential replacement could conceivably be better.

Paul reiterated his agreeing-with-the-president doctrine in an interview today on MSNBC's Morning Joe, in which he stated his intention to filibuster longtime Washington neoconservative Elliott Abrams should Trump nominate him to a senior leadership position at the State Department. "The main reason is, is that I don't think he agrees with the president on foreign policy," said Paul, echoing previous objections he's made to trial-balloon foreign-policy candidates Giuliani and John Bolton. "You know, the president even this morning was saying that he disagrees with getting bogged down in foreign war and with nation-building. That's exactly the foreign policy of Elliott Abrams, chief architect of the Iraq War, also a big fan of nation-building."

Paul's early Trump play seems clear: Try to convince the president that he has an anti-interventionism mandate, and insert himself into the process when the executive branch gets (even more) go-it-alone uppity on military adventurism. For instance, at the tail end of the Morning Joe interview, Paul briefly questioned the constitutionality of U.S. bombing of Yemen, a subject on which he and a bipartisan group of senators is demanding to be briefed.

That said, Paul is also obviously trying to speak Trump's language along the way, leading to such cringe-worthies as him criticizing Abrams on grounds that the potential nominee was "quite dismissive of the president throughout the campaign; it's sort of hard for me to imagine that a NeverTrumper would be in the State Department, particularly one that has been very, very vocal and really disrespectful in many ways to Donald Trump." At other points in the interview, Paul laughingly waved off multiple offers to weigh in on Trump's war of words with the judiciary, and couched any conflict between Trump and his Supreme Court pick Neil Gorsuch as reflecting badly on Democrats.

Speaking of Dems, this just in from Delaware Dave Weigel:

Listen to Nick Gillespie's recent interview with Rand Paul on the Reason Podcast here.

UPDATE: More from Weigel:

"In some ways, the Democrats made it much more certain that I would vote for him by trying to destroy his character," Paul said Thursday in an interview with The Washington Post and Roll Call for C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" series. "I think it's very upsetting that they didn't choose to go after him on particular issues, like civil asset forfeiture, where they might have been able to persuade someone. They chose to go after a man's character." […]

"The thing is, I've seen pictures of him marching for voting rights with [congressman] John Lewis," Paul said of Sessions. "He is for voting rights. There are things no one wants attached to their character, no person that I know wants to be called racist, or that you're trying to prevent someone to vote."

NEXT: Trump Releases Law Enforcement Executive Orders, General Wants More Troops for Afghanistan, Have You Heard About Ivanka's Products Lately? P.M. Links

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    1. Hello “Delaware” Dave Weigel. Take your meds and pay your losing bets, biyatch.

      1. Shut up, Dave! Go finish your book!

        1. Dave? I thought he was Tulpa. Or was that you? It’s confusing trying to keep track of who’s who.

  2. Perhaps tomorrow’s penumbral lunar eclipse has got Paul treading in the darkness.

  3. Perhaps this: Rand Paul is smart and fairly libertarian. He wants to move the government in a libertarian direction. He recognizes that Donald Trump is the least ideological president since…maybe ever. He recognizes that it could be possible to influence Trump and he’s attempting to execute a strategy that would enable that type of influence. He may think that supporting Trump and being friendly at times is more effective that screaming that Trump is an asshole all the time.

    Obviously I don’t know Rand Paul at all, but this would seem to be the optimal strategy for maximizing libertarian outcomes.

    1. Don’t you understand?! Broadcasting how much you hate Donald Trump is so vastly more important than maximizing libertarian outcomes!

      1. I think there’s a pretty meaningful difference between insisting on broadcasting how much you hate Donald Trump and criticizing Paul for voting for Jeff Sessions (especially given how weak some of the reasons are).

        Imagine for a second that this article was about a Democrat who voted for a terrible Obama or Clinton Cabinet appointee who was adamantly opposed on key issues (relating to the job) that this Senator had publicly commented on frequently in the past. Now imagine they defended themselves with an argument about how they wanted someone who agreed with the president, they want to have influence on the president, or even that they were turned off by how Republicans criticized the nominee. That Senator would be (rightfully) getting torn to shreds in the comments here.

        I like Rand and I still think he’s the best we have in the Senate by a large margin, but he’s in the wrong here and there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging that.

        1. I’ve always wondered where the line is with the, “We have to get along with republicans in order to influence them” crowd.

          It makes sense to try and influence sitting lawmakers of course, but there has to be a line in the sand, otherwise it’s just a utilitarian argument for always voting straight ticket republican no matter what.

          I’m not saying anyone here is advocating that, it’s more just that the comments here got me thinking about that larger subject.

          1. I don’t think partisan Republicans can be influenced any more than Democrat ones can – conclusions not reached through reason, and all.

            Libertarians just need to go for broke and try to be a legitimate alternative all by themselves.

            1. What good does that do?

          2. I get that the pendulum swings.

            My concern is how much must we accommodate Trump in order to counterbalance the ‘Libertarian Case for Obama?’

        2. I have to imagine that there was a certain pragmatic calculation that realized a “no” vote would have no effect other than isolating Paul, who already has few friends in high places and many enemies. When you add that to the fact that no one else Trump is likely to nominate would be any better at all, I’m willing to give Rand a pass on this one.

          But I also think you are absolutely right that we are only giving him a pass because we like him. A Democrat who had done the same thing would be mercilessly dragged over the coals here.

          1. Agreed. It’s politics. It’s shitty, but that’s what politics is. Unless he had been able to gather some R allies to vote with him, o difference would have been made by Paul’s vote. Which is not to say it’s not worth calling out, or criticizing him, or detesting him. It’s why every politician is detestable. It’s detestable business.

          2. I doubt it. Why would anybody here bother criticizing a Democrat for doing the rational & expected?

          3. I do not believe a no vote would have isolated Paul. I don’t think voting no on DeVos by Murkowski and Collins hurt them in anyway. It was a protest vote. They weren’t stopping anything. they basically got the blessing from the party because they both rely heavily on teacher union donations. I think by now everyone realizes that Paul is Libertarian-ish, and stands for civil liberties. I do not believe it would have hurt him. And I believe he has one of the better, but not perfect, replacement plan for ACA. The GOP may still need him.

          1. That was in relation to Calidissent’s comment.

        3. Let’s take your example. Say there were really legitimate arguments against the cabinet appointment’s positions. Solid policy arguments that intelligent people could respect. Now, let’s say those reasons were getting no airtime and no traction whatsoever in the debate about the Democratic cabinet appointee. Instead, the Republicans were harping on rumors that the nominee was a lesbian. And the Democratic Senator decided not to go along because he didn’t want to give the smear job any credence.

          Would you be attacking the Democratic Senator?

          1. Yes. And so would the vast majority of people here. That’s a shallow reason to vote for someone.

            1. I can’t say I would. Starting a political feud only makes sense if there’s some point to it. And here’s the facts:

              1. Voting against Sessions would not have denied him the job. Sessions still had enough votes without Paul
              2. Voting against Sessions would not have advanced the narrative that Sessions was opposed because he was terrible on civil asset forfeiture, the surveillance state or federalism. It would have advanced the bullshit narrative that he was opposed because he was a racist.
              3. All of the important issues would still have been at the back of the line. The Democrats opposed to Sessions didn’t even mention them.
              4. Voting against Sessions would likely have ignited a political war with Donald Trump, who is going to be the president for the next four years, at least, and has signaled a willingness to work with libertarian leaning Republicans on at least some issues they also care about – taxes, cutting government spending, deregulation, reducing foreign commitments, monetary reform, etc.

              So, a vote against Sessions would have been pure downside with no upside. If I thought that opposing Sessions would have struck some sort of strategic blow for liberty and limited government, hell if I even thought opposing Sessions would have started any sort of national conversation, I’d be right there with you in criticizing Paul for his vote. But, I really don’t see this as a case where a truly stupid and futile gesture needs to be done on somebody’s part.

      2. Paul’s not shy about broadcasting his disagreements with Donald Trump. He usually does it by going on some broadcast.

      3. … have you paid any attention to libertarians/Libertarians over the last… Well, *ever*? Ideology always trumps practical considerations and getting things done.

    2. “to be the optimal strategy for maximizing libertarian outcomes.”

      Come on. You mean even better than voting for Gary Johnson and that other guy?

    3. This makes sense, and I can only hope that is Paul’s game. It may fail the purity test, but it may end up being pragmatic in a very positive way.

      Trump does seem a bit malleable, especially if you can get into his good graces. Not to mention he actually campaigned on some policy positions that Paul (and some libertarians) likely agreed with. Trump’s also shown that he doesn’t respond well to criticism or challenges to his authority (especially in public) and holds grudges. Trump’s got 4 years, so Paul can either try to make progress on policies they both support or he can spend his time charging at windmills with the rest of the “resistance.”

    4. I’d like to believe that Paul, like his father, demands concessions behind the scenes for these sorts of votes. There is a need for Rs to vote in block to get anything through and the party punishes those who don’t lend their help: not supporting bills, not supporting policy recommendations, committee membership exclusion, etc.. So Rand must know, if he’s not an idiot, that he has to concede on some grounds to make gains elsewhere.

      My hope is that these public examples of his concessions are indicators of strong gains in private. Hard to tell, though, with the Senate so non-libertarian.

    5. In other words, “We have to destroy our liberty to save it.”

      1. Not at all. Sessions is basically the status quo. If you keep the status quo in one area, but make advances elsewhere, you’re still ahead overall.

        I mean, I’d love to immediately instill the Libertarian Utopia, but that just ain’t happening overnight.

      2. Nice quip, but no. It’s a game (not a fun one), where you maximize the advancement of your cause and minimize the retardation of it. It’s especially difficult when there are, perhaps, only 1 – 5 other Senators sympathetic to your beliefs/positions.

        My point is: Do we trust Rand to be fighting for the cause?

        And I don’t know the answer to this, but I hope and suspect the answer is ‘yes’.

        And the second point, do we trust Rand to be fighting for the cause intelligently/effectively?

        I neither know the answer to this question nor do I know by what metric such a thing could be measured when libertarian principles are so poorly represented in the Senate and in the complex landscape that is Paul’s (sharing a constituency with the Majority Leader).

        1. In other words, “We’ve got to go along to get along.”

          And then you just keep going along; just like all the other criminals.

  4. Sure, mass incarceration and the drug war are bad, but being a big meanie to a sitting senator is worse.

    1. “The main reason is, is that I don’t think he agrees with the president on foreign policy,” said Paul…

      This seems like a modern version of, “We need to remove the corrupt advisers who surround the Emperor!”, instead of taking the immanently logical track of assuming the president knows what he’s doing and nominates people who he thinks agree with him.

      1. Except he’s arguing that the neo-con shouldn’t have the president’s ear. It’s not avoiding blaming Trump when the guy isn’t yet Trump’s advisor.

        1. He isn’t saying, “This president shouldn’t agree with this person.”

          He’s saying, “This person does not agree with the president.”

          The assumption is that Paul knows better than Trump what Trump believes, and that Trump cannot be trusted to nominate people that agree with him.

          I believe it makes more sense to assume that if the president nominates someone, it’s because the president has confidence that the nominee agrees with him.

          1. Exactly. Paul’s just projecting. It’s laughable to think the the Senate’s deference is only bounded as an information function. Are we supposed to believe Trump doesn’t think he can kill whoever the fuck he wants? Of course he does, but that disagreement with Sessions is fine. Paul’s picking and choosing. Pragmatic? Maybe, though he’s opposed a couple other nominees. He’s going all out on non-intervention and audit the Fed. I won’t make believe there’s a consistent principle.

          2. No. He’s pointing out that Abrams’ positions are at odds with what Trump has said his policies are. I don’t think that it’s a given that nominating Abrams means that Trump necessarily endorses, or even understands, what Abrams positions are. Abrams is an old foreign policy hand respected by the Republican Establishment. I don’t think it’s at all inconceivable that a relative neophyte like Trump would get a lot of advice from conservatives to nominate him for a position as a high-level advisor. If you think that that even might be the case, the responsible thing to do is to make the case that Abrams’ positions aren’t consistent with what Trump claimed he wanted to do.

            1. If anything, that transcript of Trump at the meeting with the Sheriffs shows that he sometimes is not fully informed. I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump fails to understand Abrams’ policy positions… in which case, the “reminder” from Rand is useful.

              It’s almost as if Rand is concern-trolling Trump…

        2. Paul is promising to fillibuster him if Trump nominates him. At that point, Gojira’s scenario is reality, even if it isn’t at the moment.

          1. At that point Trump will have a revealed policy preference at odds with his stated policy preference. At this point, he doesn’t. And by pointing out the discrepancy, Paul makes the revealed policy preference clear.

            1. I think this hits the nail on the head…

              For folks like Rand, it seems to be about trying to make progress on the things you do agree on (see his work with Sen. Booker on Criminal Justice reform). Trump has stated certain policies that Rand (and most libertarians) can get on board with – school choice, reduction in regulations, avoiding unneccesary foreign conflicts, repealing Obamacare… Now, Trumps actions may ultimately not line up with his words, but until that time, Paul’s right to try to work with Trump on the things they do agree on.

              Along with that, Trump clearly has a thin skin, holds grudges, and does not respond well to direct, public challenges. Perhaps by not picking fights on issues in which he is unlikely to affect the outcome, Rand avoids antagonizing Trump and keeps the door open to working with him on the things they do agree on.

            2. Trump’s been inconsistent at best on the issue of foreign wars and interventions. I think Paul’s playing a rhetorical game to try to coax Trump towards him. I admire the intentions, though I’m not sure how effective it will be. And either way, it’d be pretty funny for Rand to base his opposition to Trump nominee on the fact that the person supposedly disagrees with Trump too much.

              1. I think Paul’s playing a rhetorical game to try to coax Trump towards him.

                I agree with you on that. I think the following from the original argument captures it:

                criticizing Abrams on grounds that the potential nominee was “quite dismissive of the president throughout the campaign; it’s sort of hard for me to imagine that a NeverTrumper would be in the State Department, particularly one that has been very, very vocal and really disrespectful in many ways to Donald Trump.”

                Where Welch sees it as cringeworthy, I see it as playing exactly to Trump’s ego. Trump is thin-skinned and can be pretty petty. Pointing to Abrams’ dismissiveness toward Trump is exactly the sort of thing that would get Trump to turn Abrams away.

              2. Hey, it might not pan out and Trump may go back on his campaign promises. When that happens, treat him like an enemy. I’m just saying, until that happens, see what you can get done with the guy.

                Agreed that Rand’s argument is pretty hilarious. It’s like he’s concern-trolling Trump. I tend to think that Trump so loves getting his ego stroked that he doesn’t really care if that stroking blatantly manipulative.

      2. You are right that this is Paul’s argument, but I’m inclined to speculate that this is Paul’s way of trying to manipulate Trump toward a better direction. It allows him to tacitly criticize Trump without challenging Trump’s ego and getting on the enemies list as would happen if he opposed him head on.

        He’s maybe trying to be Varys rather than Ned Stark. Not sure it’ll work, but being Ned Stark certainly doesn’t.

    2. This is kind of my thought. Trump looks like a jackass and should stfu imo but these articles are getting tiring and it is only week 3. They need to stop focusing on small stupid stuff.

  5. Politics were involved in a politicians decisions, news at 11.

  6. In @cspan interview w @RandPaul, tells me and @nielslesniewski that he had doubts about Sessions but Dems’ personal attacks locked his vote.

    *IF* that’s true, that’s even shittier than voting for Sessions in the first place. Are you that easily manipulated? I used to think he was, if not an actual libertarian, at least someone who was a grown up. Defending that shit-bag just because some Dems said some critical things is the epitome of what’s wrong in Team! politics.

    Yesterday, I thought merely fuck Paul. Now I think it should be more of a fisting. With rings on.

  7. Libertarianism has no place for pragmatism.

  8. While we may agree or disagree with Paul’s decision here, I think we can all agree that Weigel has the one of the most retarded twitter avatars out there. What is he auditioning for throwback faux vintage porn?

    1. I will +1 this comment.

    2. Hard disagree.

      1. Let me apply the logic of every sports forum that caters to mixed fan bases:

        “The Angels suck, therefore your opinion about this unrelated topic is invalid.”

      2. Are you saying with John’s comment, or is “Hard Disagree” Weigel’s throwback vintage porn screen name?

    3. I took it as a Zappa reference, in which case it’s excellent. Weigel’s a big Bizarre Records/Beefheart guy.

    4. Weigel has the one of the most retarded twitter avatars out there

      This is not possible. There are no non-retarded twitter avatars.

  9. That said, Paul is also obviously trying to speak Trump’s language along the way, leading to such cringe-worthies as him criticizing Abrams on grounds that the potential nominee was “quite dismissive of the president throughout the campaign…

    Yeah, it’s almost as if Rand Paul is trying to push some sort of libertarian agenda rather then getting on record as hating that awful Trump guy who’s going to be president for the next four years.

    What is he thinking?!

  10. the more reform-friendly Obama that her potential replacement could conceivably be better.

    Jesus Christ…..

  11. Matt,

    You seem to be dismissing the primary appeal of Jeff Sessions. ^f search word “immigration”. Nothing.

    Our government has been trying to elect a new people for going on 30 years. Jeff Sessions, for all his other flaw, won’t cooperate.

  12. It’s strategy. Paul gains nothing with a no vote, and loses the ability to influence Trump at all.

    Also, note that Elizabeth Warren was being a retarded cunt. Paul didn’t REALLY vote yes because of her, but it’s nice that he said so.

    The democrats should be ashamed of their opposition strategy. Reading a 30 year old letter? Fuck. You. Do your jobs. This whole new femimeme “She persisted!!!” is so stupid that there are no words. She persisted, and failed. So empowering.

      1. And the commenters excommunicate her.

    1. She persisted, like Malala Yousafzai.

      Yes, that comparison is being made on the glorious Internet.

      1. *facepalm*

        Because a limousine libtard Senator/ former Harvard professor is exactly like a little Afghani girl who had acid flung in her face and suffered death threats from the Taliban for trying to go to school. Exactly. The same. FFS…

    2. It’s strategy. Paul gains nothing with a no vote, and loses the ability to influence Trump at all.

      This. It seems this should be obvious

      Why make a symbolic vote if there’s nothing to gain from it? It feels like people keep forgetting that no one in congress needs to pander to the “libertarian vote”; we basically have to take what little we can get, when we can get it. Feel free to bitch! but don’t expect anything different.

    3. This whole new femimeme “She persisted!!!” is so stupid that there are no words. She persisted, and failed.

      They asked… begged, “No. Please stop!” but She persisted. “There are rules, laws!” they said. But She persisted. “This won’t fix things, it won’t make any difference.” But. She. Persisted. When it all was said and done, five Senate Democrats had either supported or joined Warren in her savage persistence.

      Did we lose SF?

      1. Did we lose SF?

        Specifically who, mad.casual?

    4. She persisted.

      Take it away, boys. Be persistent.

    5. “She persisted!!!”

      She endeavored to persevere!

  13. Senator Sessions and I agree that nuking babies in the basement microwave is unconstitutional. Good enough for me.

  14. Rand was high on legal weed. Can we get more libertarian than that?

    1. Weed stores in CA are practically open to the public now. Technically, you still need some doctor’s certificate to enter a dispensary but you might just as well give the attendant your nephew’s 2nd-grade math test.

      1. Lotta young men suffering from glaucoma in California.

      2. It’s a hoot. I got my paperwork in West Hollywood. For a service fee of $50 I stood on a scale and got my blood pressure measured by a desk clerk. I wasn’t sure what the desk for at first. No doctor was in the house. He set up an iPad and had me talk to a doctor at USC remotely through a video conference. Then I understood what the desk clerk was for. He told me exactly what to say to the doctor. Muscle cramps.

  15. Matt, you put the wrong accent on the question.

    “What was Rand Paul thinking in voting…?”

    It should have been:

    “What!!! Was Rand Paul thinking in voting…?”

    Clearly, Rand Paul wasn’t thinking, he was politicking. He just doesn’t seem to be able to decide if he wants to be Captain America or Sargent Schultz.

    1. Re-elections campaigns, even for senate seats in Kentucky, don’t pay for themselves.

  16. That’s certainly an explanation.

  17. Nearly 1 in 5 illegal immigrants are in NYC and LA areas

    which i suppose accounts for the bazillions of cheap-restaurants in both places – and is the best possible rationale i can think of for ‘amnesty’. yes, that’s hipster-logic, but whatever.

    1. sorry, thought this was PM links.

  18. Paul knew voting against Sessions wouldn’t stop his appointment, and would merely have burned political capital with Trump and the GOP. It’s the smart move strategically. One could fault him for putting practicality ahead of principle, but it really only matters if his vote were the deciding one.

  19. “he had doubts about Sessions but Dems’ personal attacks locked his vote”

    He did it for yummy DerpTears? He really is a Libertarian.

  20. Whatever. Sessions to me is the worst of the cabinet. After watching Rand’s anemic performance in the Republican presidential primaries, he comes across as a good utility infielder for libertarianism, averaging about .247 at the plate, though he has shown long starting stints where he has hit .283. But the metrics show by now that he is merely playing at replacement level and projects at hitting a merely respectable .265 in 2017. I’d like to say he is a perennial All-Star, but at this point I don’t see it. He’s the first libertarian on the Senate roster, but we need to develop more prospects. The downfall of this movement is that so few libertarians hold office. It’s like waiting for a libertarian starting pitcher to emerge when there are exactly none in the minor league pipeline.

  21. i understand why he did it. it’s politics and nothing to admire, but i get it.

    supporting someone because they made some generic promise to enforce the law and because they seem to be in line with a president who could change his mind on a whim isn’t very admirable no matter how you defend it.

    i also find the notion of changing president trump rather hilarious. i put that with him pivoting as belonging in the world of fantasy….but good luck if you want to try.

  22. Like others have suggested, I think Rand is trying to figure out where best to spend his political capital. Sessions or Abrams? I suspect he doesn’t think that he has enough coins for both.

  23. It seems pretty clear to me that a number of Congressmen are trying to maneuver Trump into taking and settling on their positions — since Trump has kinda taken many contradictory positions.

    Paul’s language sounds like it came straight out of How to Win Friends and Influence People, but unfortunately, so does Tom Cotton’s. Perhaps this was made required reading in Congress in an effort to out-manipulate the Master of Manipulation, though Rand sounds very awkward in the process. Clearly he is very uncomfortable using these techniques — because appealing to emotions is not what libertarians are wired to do.

    But Dale Carnegie was not wrong when he insisted that instead of castigating people for their failures, if you tell them that they *are* what you’d like them to be, they are much more likely to move in that direction.

    So we have Rand Paul telling Trump that he’s a non-interventionist. And we have Tom Cotton telling Trump that he is a neocon.

    As for Sessions…? To me it seems that he is saving his political capital in the Senate to use on issues where it will matter. Sessions was going to get approved with or without him. Pissing off his colleagues would not be useful when he needs their support to pass the Obamacare Replacement Act.

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