MONTGOMERY – No hard feelings.

Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions told attendees at an Alabama Center for Law and Liberty banquet at Faulkner University earlier this month that former President Donald Trump "exceeded my expectations" despite a disagreement over him recusing himself from alleged Russian election interference investigations in the 2016 elections.

"I've been around politics long enough to know…people run for office and they ask me sometimes and I say, 'Well, just remember there ain't no justice in politics.' Mary (Sessions) and I have been blessed beyond words," Sessions said. "I ran for Alabama Attorney General on the Newt Gingrich revolution and was 17 points behind in September and won by 14. It was a good year the next year when I ran for the Senate. Things worked for me in ways beyond belief. I always remembered those early days and the purity of the beliefs that we had as Republicans when we were losing elections. I always felt I should serve the people and be worthy of them and try to carry Alabama's best values."

Sessions was the first U.S. Senator to endorse Trump in the Republican primaries in 2016. Shortly after winning the presidential nomination in November 2016, Trump nominated Sessions to serve as Attorney General.

"I was nervous about endorsing Trump, and I thought he was the only one that could win and I thought he would do what he said he was and he exceeded my expectations in that," Sessions said. "Even though we had a disagreement, there wasn't any question that the Attorney General of the United States who is supposed to run the whole Justice Department could violate plain requirements of recusal himself. I can ask anybody else in the department to follow the rules. If the boss doesn't follow the rule then the whole world is looking at it. No way to hide it. I had to recuse myself so I recused myself, and he didn't like that. That's the way it is, but I did feel like I wanted him to be successful."

Sessions said he supported a number of policies and actions by former President Trump.

"He was appointing judges I liked we were reviewing at the Department of Justice. He was cutting taxes and cutting regulations and making progress at the border. Standing up for American business interests and we'd gone far too libertarian and free market. Nobody was protecting jobs in America sufficiently," Sessions said. "I wanted him to be successful, and he honored me in letting me serve twenty months as Attorney General. He didn't want me as Attorney General (anymore). I'd already submitted my resignation one time. He sent it back to me, wrote on it, 'Not accepted. Make America Great Again.' So Mary said, 'Make him fire you this time.' A lot of people thought it would have been difficult for the President to get somebody confirmed and it would've created a controversy coming into the midterm elections. Anyway, I did what I thought was right and I wanted him to be successful." 

Trump later endorsed one of Sessions' opponents in the 2020 Alabama Republican primary for U.S. Senate and eventual winner, U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn). 

"I also at some point before I ran for Alabama Attorney General I really decided that the key to public service is to recognize you're a servant. It's not about you, and there's not justice out there," Sessions said. "You can't guarantee you're going to win every election so you might as well try to do the right thing and try to serve honestly and with integrity (and) reflect the highest and best Alabama values…so that's kind of the way I took it. It was kind of unusual, I got to admit. What an adventure Mary and I had. I'm honored to have served and blessed to have been a part of it. To see Alabama be transformed and a lot of progress made nationally I think the country is ready for some more good sound leadership. That's not impossible and a good victory this time could make things happen."

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email

Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.