As President-elect Donald Trump's transition team takes shape, Trump's guiding principle appears to be choosing people who are loyal to him. And one man's devotion is paying off nicely.
Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who built a reputation in the Senate with his extreme opposition to immigration, is Trump's pick for attorney general. But his influence could reach far beyond that powerful role: Trump's transition team is full of current and former Sessions staffers. The depth of Sessions' clout on the Trump team is perhaps the clearest sign that the anti-immigrant agenda Trump campaigned on is one step closer to becoming reality.
Sessions has faced repeated accusations of racism stemming from his time as a young lawyer in Mobile, Alabama. In the Senate, Sessions has been most vocal as an opponent of immigration. Tucker Carlson, the founder of the conservative Daily Caller, met Sessions during one of his battles against immigration in 2014 and came away describing him as a "nationalist." When Sessions became chairman of a Senate panel on immigration in January 2015, he promptly renamed it the "Immigration and the National Interest" subcommittee, "as a declaration to the American people that this subcommittee belongs to them," not to the "financial and political elite." Just a few months later, Trump was running for president promising to put "America First."