Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ description of Hawaii as “an island in the Pacific” on Thursday understandably upset lawmakers from the state.
As did his comments that a Hawaiian judge shouldn’t be able to overrule President Trump’s Muslim travel ban.
“We are confident that the president will prevail on appeal and particularly in the Supreme Court, if not the Ninth Circuit. So this is a huge matter,” Sessions told radio host Mark Levin on Wednesday, in audio uncovered by CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski.
“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.”
Needless to say, this ruffled many feathers, both in Hawaii — which has been a U.S. state since 1959 — and in the other 49 states.
The judge in question is U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson, a federal judge in Hawaii who also has mainland experience, having worked as a lawyer in San Francisco, the Washington Post reported.
In March, Watson issued a nationwide temporary restraining order to Trump’s travel ban, and then extended the order, prompting the president to file an appeal.
Fellow lawmakers were quick to come to Watson’s defense, with Democratic Senator Brian Schatz tweeting to Sessions: “You voted for that judge. And that island is called Oahu. It’s my home. Have some respect.”
Mazie Hirono, also a Senator in Hawaii said: “Hey Jeff Sessions, this #IslandinthePacific has been the 50th state for going on 58 years. And we won’t succumb to your dog whistle politics.”
According to the Huffington Post, the Justice Department responded by stating that Sessions was correct. “Hawaii is, in fact, an island in the Pacific,” a DOJ spokesperson said, adding that the A.G.’s granddaughter was born there.
Yep, that didn’t help at all …
See more angry tweets below.