Democratic Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) on Wednesday testified against his colleague Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) being confirmed as the next attorney general, becoming the first sitting senator to testify against a fellow member of the chamber being considered for a Cabinet post.
CNN reporter Manu Raju spoke with Booker after his testimony. Booker noted that he and Sessions worked together to honor civil rights marchers despite telling the Senate Judiciary Committee that the attorney general nominee would not treat all Americans equally.
“I have a lot of respect for Sen. Sessions,” Booker said. “He and I have even worked together on giving out a medal of freedom to civil rights marchers, something I’ve felt honored and blessed to be able to do in partnership with him.”
Booker said in February 2016 that he felt “blessed and honored to have partnered with Sen. Sessions in being the Senate sponsors” of the Congressional Gold Medal, which they awarded to those who in 1965 marched from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama to promote civil rights for African Americans.
Booker said after testifying against Sessions that his opposition was not personal but about the issues.
“It’s just the fact that Jeff Sessions is out of line, even with the Republican Caucus. While everybody from Chairman [Chuck] Grassley to Ted Cruz, Mike Lee all working together on issues around criminal justice reform, this is somebody who’s criticized those very reforms,” he said.