Trump scores first Senate endorsement from Alabama’s Jeff Sessions

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reads from a statement about Pope Francis during a campaign rally in Kiawah, South Carolina, February 17, 2016.  Trump cannot claim to be a Christian, Pope Francis said Thursday, after the billionaire vowed to build a border wall to keep out immigrants. "Anyone, whoever he is, who only wants to build walls and not bridges is not a Christian," the pontiff told journalists during his return journey from a trip to Mexico in response to a question about Trump's anti-immigrant stance. / AFP / JIM WATSON

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reads from a statement about Pope Francis during a campaign rally in Kiawah, South Carolina, February 17, 2016.<br />Trump cannot claim to be a Christian, Pope Francis said Thursday, after the billionaire vowed to build a border wall to keep out immigrants. “Anyone, whoever he is, who only wants to build walls and not bridges is not a Christian,” the pontiff told journalists during his return journey from a trip to Mexico in response to a question about Trump’s anti-immigrant stance. / AFP / JIM WATSON

REPUBLICAN presidential frontrunner, Donald Trump, picked up the backing of Alabama Senator, Jeff Sessions on Sunday, another big endorsement ahead of today’s crucial slate of GOP primaries.

Sessions, a conservative heavyweight known for his hardline immigration views, backed Trump at a packed rally in a local football stadium here, praising his stance on immigration and trade and calling his campaign a “movement… that must not fade away.”

“The American people are not happy with their government,” Sessions said. “We have an opportunity on Tuesday. It may be the last opportunity we have for the people’s voice to be heard.”

The Alabama senator, who has never endorsed a candidate in a Republican presidential primary, repeatedly praised Trump’s position on immigration, which includes his proposal to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and deport illegal immigrants. “You have asked for 30 years, and politicians have promised for 30 years, to fix illegal immigration,” Sessions said. “Donald Trump will do it.”

Sessions is the first sitting U.S. senator to formally endorse Trump, and his decision to back the real estate mogul and former reality-show star is a major blow to Texas Senator Ted Cruz, one of Sessions’ closest allies in Washington, who had lobbied for his support.

Still Sessions hinted that he didn’t entirely agree with all of Trump’s views. “You know, nobody is perfect. We can’t have everything,” he told the crowd here. But, he added, “I think at this time, in my opinion, my best judgment, at this time in America’s history, we need to make America great again.”

His endorsement came just days after Trump won the backing of his former rival, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.



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