Likely Trump pick Jeff Sessions called white lawyer 'a disgrace to his race' for representing blacks
Jeff Sessions speaks to CNN (screen grab)

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R - AL) has been one of Donald Trump's staunchest political allies over the past 18 months, and he's likely to be rewarded with a cabinet appointment in the new administration.

Like most reported Trump cabinet appointees, however, he has his own share of baggage that could damage his chances of getting confirmed. The New York Times points out that Sessions once said that a white attorney may be a "disgrace to his race" because he defended black clients.

This revelation first came to light back in 1986, when then-president Ronald Reagan nominated Sessions to be a federal district court judge. During his confirmation hearing, Sessions was asked about the testimony of prosecutor J. Gerald Hebert, who first revealed that Sessions said that white lawyers who represent black clients may be traitors to their own race.

Sessions at the time acknowledged that he might have made the remark, although he went on to say that "I don't know why I would have said that and I certainly don't believe it."

Others testified during the confirmation hearing that Sessions called both the NAACP and the ACLU "un-American" for "trying to force civil rights down the throats of people," the Times reports.