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Jeff Sessions Steps Down as Attorney General

Jeff Sessions

Jeff Sessions has resigned as attorney general, at the request of President Trump.

Sessions submitted a letter of resignation Wednesday, reports NBC News. The move follows the Tuesday midterm elections, in which Democrats took control of the House of Representatives. The 71-year-old politician served less than two years in the position.

Matthew Whitaker, Sessions's chief of staff, will serve as acting attorney general, according to a tweet from Trump.

"We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well! A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date," Trump added on social media.

The president has long expressed his frustrations with Sessions, whom he reportedly blamed for the appointment of a special counsel, Robert Mueller, to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The former Alabama senator ushered in an anti-LGBTQ era as head of the Department of Justice. Sessions’s anti-transgender actions include revoking guidance from the Obama administration that called for inclusive treatment of transgender students in the nation’s schools, such as using their preferred names and pronouns, and allowing them access to the restrooms and locker rooms of their choice.

Under him, the Justice Department has also argued that federal laws against sex discrimination do not cover discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. Sessions had a long anti-LGBTQ record as a U.S. senator from Alabama and as a state official before becoming attorney general.

A protester with a transgender pride flag made headlines in October for confronting Sessions at an event for the conservative Federalist Society, in response to a memo circulating among federal agencies that would define gender so as to exclude trans people from legal protections or even recognition of their existence. 

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