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Sessions sworn in as President Trump's attorney general

President Donald Trump swore in Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general Thursday after a bitter Senate debate over the nomination ended in a vote that fell mostly along party lines.

At a brief swearing-in ceremony at the White House, Sessions promised to address the "dangerous, permanent trend" of rising crime in the U.S.

"We will deploy the talents and abilities of the Department of Justice in the most effective way possible to confront this rise in crime and protect the people of our country," Sessions said.

Sessions and Trump both spoke of the need to address terrorism and illegal immigration.

Democrats have accused Sessions, who was rejected by the Senate when nominated for a federal judgeship in the 1980s, of racism and alleged that he will threaten civil rights and voting rights. However, the president insisted he will follow the law and apply it fairly.

"He's devoted his life to the cause of justice and believes deeply that all people are equals in the eyes of the law," Trump said of Sessions.

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