Jeff Sessions: Who is the Attorney General under fire?

Donald Trump's administration has been brought into the spotlight again - this time over Attorney General Jeff Sessions' alleged links to Russia.

Only last month, Trump's national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned after it emerged he lied to Vice President Mike Pence over his ties to Moscow.

So who is Mr Sessions, widely regarded as one of the most conservative US senators over the past 20 years?

  • A conservative background

Sessions is a staunch conservative Credit: PA

Sessions served as a junior senator for Alabama for 20 years before taking up his role as Attorney General.

During that time, he was regarded as one of the most right-wing senators on Capitol Hill.

He has consistently opposed immigration bills that have come before the Senate, including those to do with citizenship, guest worker programmes and visas.

Sessions also voted against same-sex marriage, while, like his superior Trump, is sceptical of climate change.

  • Allegations of racism

Sessions' career has been dogged by allegations of racism Credit: PA

In 1986, while Sessions was a lawyer in Alabama, he had his bid to become a federal judge blocked.

The decision came after colleagues testified that Sessions had used the term "n*****," referred to a black colleague as "boy" and said the Ku Klux Klan were "okay, until he learned that they smoked marijuana".

Sessions told CNN in 2009 that he had been devastated by the claims, branding them "false" and "distorted".

A Senate confirmation hearing for Sessions in January was disrupted by protesters concerned over the allegations.

Sessions has denied he is racist.

  • A Trump loyalist

Sessions was Donald Trump's nominee as Attorney General. Credit: PA

Sessions is a key Trump loyalist, having been one of the first senators to pledge his support for him during his presidential campaign.

Since then he has acted as an adviser to Trump on politics, national security and policy, while later he served as vice-chairman on Trump's presidential transition team.

He was bumped up to the role of attorney general after Trump fired predecessor Sally Yates for questioning whether his travel ban was lawful.

After being he was sworn in, the president described Sessions as a man of "integrity and principal," and someone who has devoted his life to the cause of justice.

  • Opposition to his appointment

Sessions has faced constant opposition to his appointment Credit: PA

There has been no shortage of opposition to Sessions' appointment as attorney general, particularly from Democrats.

Catherine Cortez Masto, who won Nevada to become the first Latina senator, described Sessions' appointment as "unacceptable".

Meanwhile, the Congressional Black Caucus said Sessions would "set us back in the advancement of civil rights and race relations across the country".

Since allegations of Sessions' links to Russia have emerged, Democrats have accused the 70-year-old of lying under oath and said he must resign.

Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren is among those calling for his resignation.