Donald Trump's selection of Sen. Jeff Sessions for the nation's top law enforcer would give the president-elect clout with supporters who cheered his pledges to crack down on illegal immigration, though it will certainly spark some controversy.
The immigration hard liner from Alabama was among the first people in Washington to throw his weight behind Trump's unlikely electoral win. He was a key Trump ally throughout the campaign and serves as a vice chairman on the executive committee of Trump's transition team.
Trump announced his selection of Sessions as his attorney general on Friday. Trump said in a statement that Sessions is "a world-class legal mind and considered a truly great Attorney General and U.S. Attorney in the state of Alabama."
Sessions has a long history as a public official, serving as a U.S. attorney in Alabama and Alabama's attorney general before nearly two decades in the Senate. But concerns about Sessions could bring more criticism to a Trump administration that's already facing heat for other key appointments.
Since Sessions' consideration for the Cabinet, new focus has gone to racially insensitive statements that surfaced when he was considered for a district judgeship in the 1980s. Thomas Figures, a black former assistant U.S. Attorney in Alabama, said Sessions once warned him to be careful about what he said to "white folks," according to NBC News.
He also testified that amid a Ku Klux Klan-related murder investigation he "used to think [the KKK] were OK" until he found out some were "pot smokers." Sessions claimed he was joking, according to NBC.