WASHINGTON – Though Democrats are ideologically opposed to the political views held by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, most are displeased President Donald Trump abruptly fired Sessions last week, according to a poll released Tuesday.
The Rasmussen Reports survey found that 61 percent of Democrats said they disagree with the decision to fire Sessions. Conversely, 68 percent of Republicans said they agree with the decision to fire Sessions. Meanwhile, 46 precent of those not affiliated with either party said they disagree with the decision to fire Sessions and 29 percent said they agree with the decision.
The sampling included 1,000 likely voters and was carried out Nov. 8 & 11. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Trump fired Sessions last Wednesday-one day after the mid-term elections.
Sessions had asked the White House if he could finish out the week but the request was denied, according to media reports.
Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker replaced Sessions the day of the firing. Whitaker had served as Sessions’ chief of staff.
Sessions served as attorney general for almost two years. He infuriated Trump with his decision to recuse himself from DoJ’s investigation into potential collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials.
The recusal was preceded by reports that said Sessions had twice met with the Russian ambassador during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.
Trump attacked Sessions in tweets and reportedly mocked him behind closed doors.
Sessions served 20 years as a Republican senator for Alabama prior to becoming attorney general. He was known as one of the upper chamber’s most conservative members, most notably on issues related to immigration enforcement.
Throughout his career Sessions battled accusations of racism that stemmed from comments he allegedly made while U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama. Sessions was appointed to that position by President Ronald Reagan in 1981.
The alleged comments are believed to have cost Sessions a federal judgeship in 1986.
Discussion related to the alleged comments resurfaced in 2017 during Sessions’ confirmation hearing for attorney general.
Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia was the only Democrat who voted to confirm Sessions.
Sessions denies having made the comments.
Democrats’ displeasure at Sessions’ departure appears linked to Whitaker’s decision thus far not to recuse himself from oversight of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation.
Whitaker previously made comments that seemed to question the merits of the probe.