Ex-attorney general sees Sessions as 'tough' but 'fair,' and should be confirmed

Fmr. AG Gonzales on Sen. Jeff Sessions

An incoming president, Donald Trump in this case, should be given "deference by the Senate" in his Cabinet picks, former George W. Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told CNBC on Friday.

Gonzales said in his past dealings with Sen. Jeff Sessions — President-elect Trump's pick for attorney general — the Alabama Republican was "tough but he was always fair."

In February, Sessions was the first sitting senator to endorse Trump during the campaign and served as an advisor on immigration policy.

Sessions, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, was formerly an assistant U.S. Attorney in Alabama.

While refusing to say whether he thought Sessions was a good pick, Gonzales said in a "Squawk Box" interview: "Donald Trump should be given deference by the Senate in terms of who he should have on his team," given he won the election and received a mandate from voters.

Despite reports of disarray in the Trump transition team, Gonzales said: "I don't view this as unlike any other transition. Certainly it's not unlike the transition that existed in 2000, when President Bush came in after the Florida recount."

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