AG protesters spark raucous ‘Sessions’
Sen. Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing Tuesday quickly devolved into a circus — with leftist protesters in KKK outfits and pink Statue of Liberty costumes getting the boot after a series of outbursts.
Black Lives Matter demonstrators called Donald Trump’s attorney-general nominee a racist; redshirted potheads decried his hardcore drug-warrior stance; and Code Pink feminists slammed his pro-life beliefs.
“You know, free speech is a wonderful thing,” deadpanned Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) at one point during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the Alabama Republican.
In all, about 18 protesters were ejected from the six-hour session, in which Sessions, 70, was alternately grilled by Democrats and defended by Republicans on number of hot-button issues. Among the highlights:
Sessions said that waterboarding — which Trump touted during his campaign — is “absolutely improper and illegal” under a 2015 law that the senator opposed.
He insisted he does not support a ban on immigration from Muslim countries, only beefed-up background checks.
He said he would recuse himself from any investigations of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal if confirmed as attorney general.
Sessions said he “has no reason to doubt” the conclusion of US intelligence agencies that tied Vladimir Putin to the hacking of Democrats during the campaign.
He called Supreme Court decisions on same-sex marriage and abortion settled law, although he personally opposes both rulings, calling Roe vs. Wade “unconstitutional.”
Sessions said he opposed President Obama’s executive action granting temporary protection to kids brought to the US illegally by their parents and would not fight efforts to kill it.
Under questioning, Sessions said he had never chanted, “Lock her up!” about Clinton during Trump rallies.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) grilled Sessions about Trump’s comment that his celebrity status allowed him to “grab” women “by the p---y.”
Asked if groping a woman’s genitals without her consent was sexual assault, Sessions replied, “Clearly, it would be.”
He also distanced himself from the Ku Klux Klan, saying: “I abhor the Klan and what it represents and its hateful ideology.”
The hearing will resume on Wednesday.
GRANDPA’S GOT YOU: Jeff Sessions holds his granddaughter Tuesday before his Senate confirmation hearing, where protesters in Ku Klux Klan outfits accused him of racism.