- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Sen. Angus King said Tuesday that he plans to vote against his colleague Sen. Jeff Sessions to be the next attorney general, saying he’s not sure Mr. Sessions can be sufficiently independent from President Trump.

Mr. King called Mr. Sessions a “friend” and said he likes him.

“But I’m not voting to confirm a friend. I’m voting to confirm somebody who I think has to stand up to the president and say, ‘This is wrong,’ ” Mr. King, Maine Independent, said on CNN’s “New Day.”

“In my gut, because of his relationship with Mr. Trump and his history, I’m just not sure he would give the kind of independent advice that this president desperately needs,” said Mr. King, who caucuses with Senate Democrats.

Mr. Sessions, Alabama Republican, was the first sitting U.S. senator to endorse Mr. Trump’s candidacy.

Mr. King also said, though, that Republicans have the votes and he doesn’t think any of Mr. Sessions’ GOP colleagues will vote against him.

Mr. Trump slammed Democrats on Tuesday for holding up Mr. Sessions’ nomination, which is taking on added significance after Mr. Trump also fired the acting attorney general on Monday for defying him on his “extreme vetting” immigration executive order.

Mr. King also said he will vote to confirm Rex Tillerson, Mr. Trump’s pick to be secretary of state, despite some reservations.

“I think he’ll give the president the kind of independent advice that he needs,” he said.

The full Senate advanced Mr. Tillerson’s nomination on Monday on a 56-43 vote. The Senate Judiciary Committee was scheduled to vote on Mr. Sessions’ nomination on Tuesday.



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