Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions has been selected to serve as attorney general in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration, and the decision is making a lot of people extremely nervous because of offensive comments the Alabama senator has made in the past.
Democrats, Trump haters and civil rights groups are attacking Sessions’ record as U.S. attorney in Alabama in the 1980s, especially on the heels of Steve Bannon’s appointment as Trump’s chief strategist.
Here are seven reasons why people are nervous:
1. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan’s nomination of Sessions to a federal judgeship was rejected over racially charged comments he allegedly made as U.S. attorney in Alabama. He was only the second judicial nominee rejected by the panel in its 50-year history, despite having denied making the comments.
2. Sessions did, however, admit to saying that he was fine with the Ku Klux Klan “until I found out they smoked pot,” but called the remark a joke.
3. A former colleague testified that Sessions referred to the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and other civil rights groups as “un-American.”
4. Sessions supports Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigrants to America, saying in interview with Breitbart Radio, “They’re not in the United States and they’re not entitled to the constitutional protections of the United States.”
5. He defended Trump’s attack on a Gold Star family after Khizr Kahn mocked Trump at the Democratic Convention. On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sessions called the interview in which Trump suggested Kahn’s wife withheld speaking up during the DNC because of her Muslim faith “respectful.” He went on to express his “disappointment” in Kahn’s criticisms of the then-presidential candidate.
6. Sessions is opposed to amnesty for the 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the U.S., but is also averse to even legal immigration. In a Washington Post op-ed last year in which he argued for “immigration moderation,” Sessions said, “Legal immigration is the primary source of low-wage immigration into the United States.”
7. He denied and simultaneously acknowledged climate change all in one sentence, saying during a Senate hearing last year, “Carbon pollution is CO2, and that’s really not a pollutant; that’s a plant food, and it doesn’t harm anybody except that it might include temperature increases.”
Sen. Sessions has accepted the attorney general gig, but will have to be confirmed by the Senate before it’s official.
Check out what people are saying on Twitter:
Jeff Sessions, considered too racist to be a judge in 80’s, is Trump’s AG. Best to go back to sleep, America. I’ll wake u up when it’s over.
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) November 18, 2016
— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 18, 2016
Attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions called for constitutional amendment to stop granting automatic citizenship to people born in the U.S.
— ACLU (@ACLU) November 18, 2016
It's tempting to think there's nothing you can do, but you should absolutely be calling your senators to block Jeff Sessions frm becoming AG
— Clint Smith (@ClintSmithIII) November 18, 2016
Getting to know Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump's attorney general nominee pic.twitter.com/oKxWxQQABz
— ACLU (@ACLU) November 18, 2016
coming soon to cable news:
"that's not the Jeff Sessions I know" — a Republican senator
— Simon Maloy (@SimonMaloy) November 18, 2016
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) November 18, 2016
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) November 18, 2016