Trump taps Sessions to lead national security efforts

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WASHINGTON (CNN) — Donald Trump announced Thursday he has picked Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions to help craft his national security policy.

“Senator Sessions will serve as the Chairman of my National Security Advisory Committee,” Trump wrote in a tweet, posted shortly before the Republican debate in Detroit.

“We need to understand the limits of our ability to intervene successfully in other nations. It is time for a healthy dose of foreign policy realism. In the Middle East, this means forming partnerships based on shared interests, not merely overthrowing regimes in the dangerous attempt to plant democracies. We must also combat the refugee crisis by creating regional safe zones, rather than depopulating the region by migration,” Sessions said in a statement put out by Trump’s campaign on Thursday.

Sessions is the only senator so far to have endorsed Trump and comes as other Republican senators — many of them backing their colleague Marco Rubio — have struggled with how to handle the growing likelihood that Trump will become their party’s leader.

One senator, Nebraska Republican Ben Sasse, has said he would support a third-party conservative rather than vote for Trump in November.

Trump’s national security and foreign policy comments have raised eyebrows and questions throughout the campaign.

He has said that he is happy to have Russian President Vladimir Putin fighting in Syria, despite U.S. assertions that Putin is not fighting ISIS but instead fighting rebels opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Trump has also said that he “may have” backed the invasion of Iraq in 2003 before coming out strongly against it. And he’s pledged to “bomb the s*** out of ISIS” in the Middle East and kill the families of terrorists.