By Elise Viebeck
The unlikely alliance between Donald Trump and Sen. Jeff Sessions started because of the United Nations.
It was 2005, and Trump was busy criticizing the U.N.'s plan to launch a $1.2-billion renovation of its Manhattan headquarters. To the real estate mogul, who had constructed Trump World Tower across the street, the price for the remodel was unreasonably high.
"The United Nations is a mess," Trump told the New York Sun, deriding just the kind of multilateral institution he now routinely pans in his presidential bid. "And they're spending hundreds of millions of dollars unnecessarily on this project."
After Sessions learned of Trump's views, the Alabama Republican and former Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., invited him to come to Washington to talk about building renovation and air his criticism of the U.N. project at a Senate subcommittee hearing.
The result was the best congressional testimony Sessions says he had ever heard. Even now, as Trump's sole Senate endorser and the heart of his presence in Washington, Sessions loves telling the story. That's partly because he likes to do his Trump impression.
"Y'all are gettin' taken to the cleaners!" Sessions said while mimicking Trump in a recent interview, his accent drifting somewhere between Queens and the Alabama Gulf Coast. "There is no way it should cost that much! . . . If you give it to me, I'll save you a billion dollars!"
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