Al Franken savaged Ted Cruz on Wednesday, as the two participated in a Senate Judiciary Committee vote on Jeff Sessions’ nomination for attorney general.
“Let’s talk about who is trying to impugn the record of another senator,” Franken said, responding to Cruz’s claim that Franken was smearing Sessions in disputing the Alabama senator’s record on civil rights (this part of the video starts about four minutes in). “I think Senator Cruz is trying to impugn mine,” the Minnesotan continued, outlining evidence that Sessions did not do as much to protect voting access as he asserted during his confirmation hearings.
Cruz’s fellow Texas senator John Cornyn jumped on Franken for his criticism of Cruz, saying that Franken was trying to disparage another senator while he was not present. Cruz was not present when Franken spoke.
“Senator Cruz did the very thing Senator Cornyn is accusing me of doing,” Franken hit back, after the committee chair let Franken proceed with his remarks. “In my absence … he personally went after me, he personally impugned my integrity. You didn’t object then, did you?”
Trump’s nomination of Sessions as attorney general has proven one of his most contentious choices, given the Alabama senator’s record on civil rights and decades-old allegations that he made racist comments while a federal prosecutor.