Jeff Sessions
Credit: Office of Public Affairs/Flickr

In the Washington Post, national security correspondent Greg Miller wrote a book review of former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe’s new book: THE THREAT: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump. What I found of most interest was McCabe’s assessment of Jeff Sessions. You probably won’t be surprised to see it confirmed that Sessions is a virulent racist and bigot.

He didn’t read intelligence reports and mixed up classified material with what he had seen in newspaper clips. He seemed confused about the structure and purpose of organizations and became overwhelmed when meetings covered multiple subjects. He blamed immigrants for nearly every societal problem and uttered racist sentiments with shocking callousness.

This isn’t how President Trump is depicted in a new book by former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe. Instead, it’s McCabe’s account of what it was like to work for then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The FBI was better off when “you all only hired Irishmen,” Sessions said in one diatribe about the bureau’s workforce. “They were drunks but they could be trusted. Not like all those new people with nose rings and tattoos — who knows what they’re doing?”

I guess I’m more startled to learn that Sessions is so stupid that he can’t juggle basic concepts and that he didn’t even bother to read intelligence reports.

McCabe’s disdain for Trump is rivaled only by his contempt for Sessions. He questions the former attorney general’s mental faculties, saying that he had “trouble focusing, particularly when topics of conversation strayed from a small number of issues.”

Logs on the electronic tablets used to deliver the President’s Daily Brief to Sessions came back with no indication he had ever punched in the passcode.

There’s a reason Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III was the only one of 100 senators to endorse Donald Trump’s candidacy for president. Both saw eye to eye on Islam, race, and immigration.

The attorney general’s views on race and religion are described as reprehensible.

Sessions “believed that Islam — inherently — advocated extremism” and ceaselessly sought to draw connections between crime and immigration. “Where’s he from?” was his first question about a suspect. The next: “Where are his parents from?”

I’ve been writing about Sessions’ Neo-confederate beliefs for a long time, but I never saw him as a dunce. I actually thought he was cunning in an evil kind of way. Maybe it’s fortunate that he was overwhelmed in his job as Attorney General. He could have done a lot more harm if he’d been as smart as I thought he was.

I guess I am just glad that he flamed out so spectacularly. He gave up a safe Senate seat to fulfill his lifelong dream of running the Justice Department, but it ended in disgrace, with even the president trashing his performance on a regular basis. Not many people seem to get what they deserve these days, but I’m satisfied with how Sessions’ career came to an ignominious end. That Doug Jones won his Senate seat is just gravy.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at