The US Senate has confirmed President Donald Trump's nomination for attorney general, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, by a vote of 52 to 47. The confirmation follows a series of divisive hearings during which Democrats attacked Mr. Sessions's record on civil rights.
The US Senate has confirmed President Donald Trump's nomination for attorney general, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, by a vote of 52 to 47. The confirmation follows a series of divisive hearings during which Democrats attacked Mr. Sessions's record on civil rights. The Alabama senator's nomination was among Mr. Trump's most controversial. Voting largely followed party lines, with just one Democratic senator - Joe Manchin of West Virginia - voting for Mr Sessions. He will now take charge of the justice department and its 113,000 employees, including 93 US attorneys.
What's his background?
Born Jefferson Beauregard "Jeff" Sessions III, the 69-year-old was Alabama's attorney general before he joined the Senate in 1996. As a senator, he sat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Judiciary Committee and the Budget Committee. The lawmaker helped Mr. Trump craft his foreign policy plan, one of the few Republicans to come to his defence after he proposed a temporary ban on Muslims entering the US.
A Senate committee denied Mr. Sessions a federal judgeship in 1989 after lawmakers heard testimony that he had used a racial slur. He had also joked about the Ku Klux Klan, saying he thought they were OK until he heard they smoked marijuana. But the Alabama senator told the Senate Judiciary Committee at his confirmation testimony that allegations he had once supported the KKK were "damnably false".
Mr. Sessions was also accused of calling a black assistant US attorney "boy" and telling him to be careful about how he spoke to "white folks". He denied to the committee ever having called the lawyer “boy" and insisted he had merely advised him to be cautious about what he said to "folks". He also rejected claims he had labelled the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People "un-American".
Law enforcement community have voiced support for M.r Sessions, trusting he will be a strong advocate for the police.