U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions Defends “Sitting on an Island in the Pacific” Remark
He says “I wasn't diminishing the judge on the island of Hawai‘i, that beautiful place.”
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions—the nation’s top lawyer—put himself back on the hot seat today after defending his dismissal of Hawai‘i and a federal judge.
Yesterday, the internet erupted when Sessions told a conservative radio show, “I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and Constitutional power.”
Hawai‘i Sens. Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz, along with a host of others, blasted Sessions for belittling the state and federal judge Derrick Watson, whose order halted the implementation of the Trump administration’s travel ban against a group of Muslim-majority nations.
Today, Sessions was interviewed by MSNBC’s Ali Velshi and said:
“I wasn’t diminishing the judge or the island of Hawai‘i, that beautiful place. Give me a break,” Sessions said. “I was just making the point that’s very real, one judge, out of 700, has stopped the president of the United States from doing what he believes is necessary to protect our safety and security.”
Online commenters yesterday included questions of whether Sessions is aware that Hawai‘i is a state, that Pearl Harbor was bombed, plunging the U.S. in the World War II, and that the 44th president was born here.
No word yet on what to make of his reference to the “island of Hawai‘i” and if he is aware that the state of Hawai‘i consists of eight major islands and that Judge Watson is based on O‘ahu, not on the island of Hawai‘i.
Watch the interview below.