2020 elections

11 GOP senators support Jeff Sessions' comeback bid for Senate

"We believe Jeff Sessions has more to offer his country," the senators write.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Nearly a dozen of Jeff Sessions' former GOP Senate colleagues are backing his run for Senate, according to a letter obtained by POLITICO.

In an "open letter to conservatives" on Sessions' candidacy for Alabama's Senate race next year, 11 Republican senators say that Sessions is a "man of his word. And we know he is devoted to serving the people of Alabama." The letter should be a boost to Sessions' candidacy in the crowded primary for his old seat, particularly since President Donald Trump has signaled initial neutrality on Sessions' candidacy despite his past criticisms.

"Each of us has served in the United States Senate with Jeff Sessions. We have seen him work diligently in the public eye and behind closed doors, when things were both good and bad, under stress and in success," the senators wrote. "We believe Jeff Sessions has more to offer his country, and we believe the United States Senate will be better with his experience and leadership."

The letter is signed by GOP Sens. Richard Shelby of Alabama, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, Pat Roberts of Kansas, Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Mike Crapo of Idaho, Johnny Isakson of Georgia, John Barrasso of Wyoming, Roy Blunt of Missouri, John Boozman of Arkansas, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Deb Fischer of Nebraska. Roberts, Enzi and Isakson are all retiring this year or next. Barrasso and Blunt are the Nos. 3 and 4 GOP leaders, respectively, in the Senate GOP.

"A strong conservative, a humble servant and a really good man," Johnson said of Sessions.

"Jeff Sessions was unflinching ‘America First’ before it was cool. As a U.S. Senator, Jeff helped lead a conservative revolution back to 'America First' principles," Barrasso said.

Separately, Trump was asked about Sessions on Friday and he signaled that he is not eager to criticize his former attorney general's candidacy or his decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, which earned Sessions countless attacks from Trump during former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. But Sessions gave a fawning interview about Trump on Fox News on Thursday and has presented himself as a servant of the president who has not and will not criticize him.

“I saw he said very nice things about me last night. We’ll see," Trump told reporters when asked about Sessions.

Still, the fact that Sessions is earning the support of only a fraction of his old colleagues demonstrates his difficult road ahead. Sessions will have to oust Republicans challengers Tommy Tuberville, the former Auburn University football coach, Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.) and Roy Moore, who lost the race to succeed Sessions to Democrat Doug Jones. Plus, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been cool to backing Sessions — and some of Trump's closest allies have signaled they will not back Sessions, for now.