Former Attorney General Edwin Meese III endorsed Jeff Sessions, who held the same position under President Trump, for U.S. Senate, in a new radio ad unveiled Tuesday.
Mr. Meese, who served as attorney general during President Ronald Reagan’s second term, also defended Mr. Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Russian collusion probe.
“Let me clear something up. Jeff Sessions did the right thing when he recused himself from the phony Russia investigation. The law is clear he had to recuse because he could not legally investigate himself or the Trump campaign,” Mr. Meese said in the radio spot now airing in Alabama
“If Jeff had not recused, he would have broke the law, and the Democrats would have damaged President Trump badly,” Mr. Meese continues. “Jeff Sessions is a uniquely strong man with the integrity to do the right thing even when it is hard.”
Mr. Sessions, who is running for his old Senate seat in Alabama, has been assailed by Mr. Trump for recusing himself from overseeing the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The president has repeatedly attacked Mr. Sessions, mocking his accent, calling him a “total disaster” and an “embarrassment to the great state of Alabama.”
Mr. Sessions’ recusal ultimately led to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller, whose two-year investigation concluded without finding any evidence the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election.
Mr. Sessions is battling former football coach Tommy Tuberville in a Senate GOP runoff election on July 14.
The Meese ad was unveiled one day after media reports said Mr. Trump was headed to Alabama next month to campaign for Mr. Tuberville. A campaign rally featuring Mr. Trump is expected to be held just days ahead of the July 14th vote.
Mr. Tuberville is the only candidate endorsed so far by the president.