Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is under fire Thursday for his Wednesday evening vote to confirm Jeff Sessions as U.S. attorney general.
According to Guardian political reporter Ben Jacobs, Manchin "flash[ed Sessions] a thumbs up on his way in the chamber," before breaking with his party to cast the only Democratic vote in favor of Sessions' confirmation.
The social media outcry against the conservative Democrat, who is up for re-election in 2018, was swift:
Extremely tempted throw my family in the car, move to West Virginia and spend the next 23 months doing everything possible to unseat Manchin
— Sally Kohn (@sallykohn) February 9, 2017
I know Joe Manchin represents WV, but protecting civil rights must be bedrock principle of Dem Party. Disgusted by his vote for Sessions
— Ari Berman (@AriBerman) February 9, 2017
Manchin, by voting Sessions, voted for race-based voter suppression. He’s a traitor to his voters and the party.
— Amanda Marcotte (@AmandaMarcotte) February 9, 2017
Joe Manchin (Democrat) voted to confirm Jeff Sessions and this is what his Wikipedia page looks like now. Y'all are quick pic.twitter.com/gIFlhnHKaH
— Logan (@LoganPhares) February 9, 2017
A number of observers noted that Manchin's daughter, Heather Bresch, was chief executive of the pharmaceutical company Mylan when it dramatically hiked the price of EpiPens. The matter is currently being investigated by the Department of Justice, which Sessions will now helm.
Joe Manchin daughter is being investigated by the justice department.. Jeff Sessions will make it go bye-bye.
Anymore more questions?? pic.twitter.com/LTg7jey6CN
—D.C.Rob (@DCRobMan) February 9, 2017
Manchin was also among a handful of Democrats to vote "yes" on the confirmation of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.