The Senate confirmed Sen. Jeff Sessions in a 52-47 vote as the next U.S. attorney general Wednesday night.
Only one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin, voted yes. Sessions voted present. He is President Donald Trump’s eighth confirmed cabinet nominee.
Trump cheered the confirmation on Twitter:
Congratulations to our new Attorney General, @SenatorSessions! pic.twitter.com/e0buP1K83z
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2017
Sessions faced a grueling confirmation process, thanks primarily to unsubstantiated racist accusations being thrown around by senators like Cory Booker and John Lewis. Booker once praised Sessions for his civil rights work, and Lewis marched with Sessions in Selma, Ala., to honor Martin Luther King Jr. (RELATED: Scarborough Comes Unglued On Dems: Suddenly Sessions ‘Is A Bigot’?)
Democratic senators protested his confirmation Tuesday night and throughout the day Wednesday, particularly after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shut Sen. Elizabeth Warren down for violating floor rules. (VIDEO: Mitch McConnell Shuts Down Elizabeth Warren In Senate Floor Battle)
Sessions — who has been a senator since 1997 — is taking over for acting Attorney General Dana Boente, who replaced acting Attorney General Sally Yates. The Trump administration fired Yates at the end of January for refusing to comply with Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order suspending immigration from seven Middle Eastern countries that either sponsor terrorism or harbor terrorist. The order indefinitely suspended entrance for Syrian refugees.
Before Yates, Loretta Lynch was attorney general under then-President Barack Obama. Lynch faced massive backlash when she met privately with former President Bill Clinton for 30 minutes in her government plane on the tarmac at the Phoenix, Ariz., airport June 28, 2016. Her Department of Justice at the time was investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server in her home in Chappaqua, N.Y., during her tenure as secretary of state.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Secretary of Defense James Mattis have also been confirmed.
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