(CNN) Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks said in a radio interview on Tuesday that criticism of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, who is Donald Trump's pick to be attorney general, is part of an ongoing "war on whites" by Democrats.
"It's really about political power and racial division and what I've referred to on occasion as the 'war on whites.' They are trying to motivate the African-American vote to vote-bloc for Democrats by using every 'Republican is a racist' tool that they can envision," the Republican congressman said on "The Morning Show With Toni & Gary" on WBHP 800 Alabama radio. "Even if they have to lie about it."
Brooks was responding to a question about criticism of Sessions' record on civil rights, which has come under renewed scrutiny as he seeks confirmation to head the Justice Department. Sessions was denied a federal judgeship in 1986 in part because of comments he allegedly made about organizations like the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union. Sessions, a Republican, also criticized the 1965 Voting Rights Act as "intrusive" in the 1980s.
In his confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Sessions called charges of racism "damnably false," saying that he had prosecuted a voter fraud case in response to "pleas from African-American, incumbent, elected officials."
Brooks, who said in Tuesday's radio interview that he was under consideration by Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley to replace Sessions in the US Senate, was defending Sessions in regard to his position on voting rights.
"Well, to get right down to it, it's all about political power, and the Democrats are not shy about lying in order to achieve their political goals," he said. "And if they have to besmirch the reputation of a good man, Jeff Sessions, in order to achieve their political goals, they as a group are not hesitant to do so."