Donald Trump's surrogates may be few and far between, especially after The Washington Post published that recording of his vile conversation with Billy Bush about women. But after the second presidential debate, Sen. Jeff Sessions reiterated his support for Trump in an interview with Bustle, praising the Republican nominee for a job well done despite the disruptions from the tape controversy.
The New York Times had reported that Trump was "increasingly isolated and upset" as he experienced the fallout from the tape. Many GOP lawmakers, including Speaker Paul Ryan and party chairman Reince Priebus, publicly announced their disgust towards Trump's comments, and scores more un-endorsed him in an unprecedented abandonment of their party's nominee. But while many have denounced the recording of Trump boasting about being able to grope women because of his "star" status, some remain steadfastly by his side, expressing their forgiveness of an allegedly now-changed man. Sessions, for instance, remarks on how "impressed" he was with Trump's debate performance, particularly considering the upheaval caused by the release of the 2005 video recording.
And for Sessions, at least, it seemed that Trump's post-tape debacle debate performance further proved how great a leader he would be. "He just did so marvelously well. I was so impressed with his discipline, his frankness, his leadership style, his focus," the Alabama senator says. "He just did a heroic job tonight. I think people saw in him a man who can be president of the United States that has the ability to lead and get things done that haven't been gotten done in many decades."
When asked about his thoughts on his fellow Senate Republicans withdrawing their endorsements of Trump, Sessions defends their freedom to "do whatever their conscience leads them to do," but says that he would advise them to have at least waited until the second debate was over before making a decision.
"I would ask them as a Republican, what agenda item does he advocate for that you don't favor? And I would say you think Donald Trump's not perfect, do you think Hillary Clinton's perfect herself?" Session adds. "Donald Trump did some things he shouldn't have done or said some thing he shouldn't have, but she's not perfect either."
But what Sessions failed to consider in his defense of Trump is that this is not so much a search for the perfect presidential candidate than it is for a qualified one who stands up for common human decency. And try as his surrogates may, Trump's debate performance cannot convincingly mask his appalling treatment of women, his xenophobic views towards minorities, and his lack of experience.