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Elizabeth Warren urges GOP to avoid 'self-interest and political cowardice' in Sessions confirmation

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks during a campaign rally with democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at St Saint Anselm College on October 24, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire.
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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks during a campaign rally with democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at St Saint Anselm College on October 24, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Elizabeth Warren joined some of her Democratic colleagues in blasting Donald Trump's attorney general pick on Friday.

The president-elect picked Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama as his attorney general, giving him clout with supporters who cheered his pledges to crack down on illegal immigration. Democrats and some independent groups have raised concerns about Sessions' hard line immigration views and racially insensitive statements that contributed to him getting passed over for a federal judgeship in the 1980s.

Sessions will likely get confirmed in the Republican-majority Senate. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said he "strongly" supported the appointment of Sessions, whom he called "principled, forthright and hardworking."

Warren, the Democrat from Massachusetts, accused Trump of "embracing the bigotry that fueled his campaign rallies," calling on him to "reverse" his decision.

"Thirty years ago, a different Republican Senate rejected Senator Sessions' nomination to a federal judgeship. In doing so, that Senate affirmed that there can be no compromise with racism; no negotiation with hate. Today, a new Republican Senate must decide whether self-interest and political cowardice will prevent them from once again doing what is right," Warren said in a statement Friday.

Warren's statement followed concerns from the Senate's incoming top Democrat, Chuck Schumer of New York. He said that "given some of [Sessions'] past statements and his staunch opposition to immigration reform, I am very concerned about what he would do with the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice and want to hear what he has to say."