tv Attorney General Jeff Sessions Delivers Remarks to National Association of... CSPAN March 1, 2017 12:48am-1:23am EST
related gang today. his remarks are next on c-span2. the director of national intelligence nominee was asked about russian hacking at his confirmation hearing. that will be coming up in 30 minutes. later, olympic gold medal winner testifies about anti- doping rules on capitol hill. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979 c-span was created as a public service by america's to cable television companies and is proud to today brought to today by your cable or satellite provider. >> attorney general jeff sessions announced a federal task force to reduce crime. he spoke to the national association of attorney general conference. [applause]
>> it is a great pleasure to welcome general sessions to this meeting. here here to introduce them is a longtime personal and collegiate -- luther, i'd like to recognize his new position. [applause] >> for six years he served as attorney general and was active in the association of attorney general's senator. >> thank you. good morning colleagues. i miss you very much frame already. it was a great honor to serve this organization. they spend maybe once or twice live second i get my old job back this is a wonderful organization and an honor to introduce my good friend, jeff sessions. i first met him along time ago
when i see a person looking for advice on how to make a difference in the political world. in some us of the first person you need to meet is jeff sessions. is a wonderful person and has a future ahead of him. as luck would have it i was in washington this is pre-9/11. i made a plan to meet him in the cafeteria at the justice department. i walked into the door and met him. we went through the line and i was young guy trying to make a good impression and he goes to his table when i get there and i look around and have no wallet. that tells you how long ago it was they could do that at the department of justice. so i had to walk over and say can i borrow $5 to pay for my breakfast. i've been in his debt ever since.
literally. were very fortunate to have a person of his character and experience to take on the awesome experience of the attorney general. i'm glad to be here to introduce and because because he's one of us. he's a person that each one of the people around this table can relate to. he served for 14 years at the united states attorney and many senior big-time places and he served two years as a state attorney general. he served in the united states senate for 20 years including on the senate judiciary committee. we cannot be in better hands i hope you'll join me in welcoming our attorney general, jeff sessions. [applause] >> thank you. thank you so much. it is an honor.
thank you it's an honor for me to be with you and to be back in this association, i was just remembering i paid my dues sporadically over the years i got a check for george here i need to get back in this group. i remember one of the meetings i had on philadelphia or somewhere and we were after hours talking and you learn things in these meetings one said if you get a run for an another office run early. well i had just got elected and then a few days later i'm taking my walk back home in alabama the schedule passed and says run now while they still like you. it's a tough job you have.
you do your duty everyday and some people don't like it and some people like it and there's no choice to do the right thing and do the best he can to try to make the legal system work. we have the most reluctant markable markable legal system in the world has ever known. i truly believe that. i had the opportunity to practice before federal judges more than state when i was attorney general for only two years. i just came to value it. somehow, somewhere we muddle through the disagreements, the disputes in cases we handle and the system stand strong. i do believe strongly that words have meaning in law should be in force and we should try to be consistent and application of
law and that equal justice in the law is a critical thing for this country. we need need to maintain that ideal. having traveled around the world as part of the armed services committee and seen the attempt to help of their countries have legal systems and those not be very successful, it has driven home to me how blessed we are to have this heritage of law though we been able to build on. there were jury trials in the colonies before the revolution. so we inherited this and built on it. the most sophisticated commercial cases in simple and violent cries can be tried effectively. we have to maintain the in my view. well, i think i'll just chat with you. have a nice speech here but
maybe we could just chat. i might lose my voice before it's over. i became an attorney in 1975. a crime has been increasing for two decades. and drugs were increasing dramatically, 50% of high school seniors had acknowledged they used an illegal drug that year according to the university of michigan study. this was a bad trend. the mentality was that nothing much can be done, prisons may people worse prosecutions and crime are not effective criminals were victims and the police were victims and everybody is a victim, there was so much we could do about it. then we began to confront the situation because people became so concerned about.
burglar bars and burglar alarms on everybody's homes, never been done before. people never lock lock their doors before in the 50s. so this is a big change. we began to focus on how to improve law-enforcement. something that i just watched and had an interest in over the years. it took some time, maybe 20 years but the murder rate was half in america than what i had done. drug use was down we have prevention programs in every community i spend a lot of my time working trying to create a message of the danger of illegal drugs. the crime does tend to follow drug use. people know that's true. we made progress. then we got better policing techniques.
new york still incredibly effective reversal of the crime rate in new york city. broken windows and all those new techniques that came along that put police in the streets come out there doing things that are necessary. now, we are at a time, it seems to me and crime is going back up again. overall crime rate increased last year three and have%. one of the bigger increases since 1991. the murder rate was up 10.8% nationwide and if you seen in the papers in the wall street journal had a big article about it major cities have seen dramatic increases in murder rates, chicago, baltimore in new orleans. so there's a lot out there that
is driving a sense that we are in danger. i say that we need to return to the ideas that got us here, the ideas that reduce crime and stay on it. maybe we even have a bit overconfident when we seen the crime rate decline so steadily for so long. many of you worked on this for years. part of a movement that has made our cities and counties and community safer. we've saved how many thousands of lives have not been lost. how many thousands of people have not been injured or have not seen their financial situation damaged severely by crime. so we have done a lot of good. we need need to not give up on that progress.
that is the thing that has concerned me the most. i do not believe in maybe i'm wrong but i do not believe that this increasing crime is necessarily an aberration, a one-time flip. i'm afraid it represents the beginning of a trend. i think what concerns me at the bottom of all that is the increase in drugs in america. they tend to follow one another. that's it happened in the 60s and 70s. i think it could happen now. we all have a charge to do better. president trump issued an order. he doesn't issued modest order. he said to the attorney general the policy of this executive branch is to reduce crime in america. that's a good goal for us. i like that. unwilling to try to meet the challenge of what we can do.
one of the big things out there is causing trouble and where you see the greatest increase in violence in murders and cities is somehow, someway we undermined the respect for our police. and made often times their job more difficult. it is not been well received by them, we're not seen the kind of effective community-based, street based policing that we found to be so effective in reducing crime. . .
that is part of what my thoughts are about the situation. the president has also given me a direct alert to take charge and lead in the effort against the drug cartel and they are growing in strength. we have so much of it coming across the texas border and we can do better attacking the distribution networks and start generally from my experience in the federal prosecutor with state and local cases.
we worked together to achieve progress. i am fully aware what 85% of law enforcement in america is state and local. we are not going to fight crime effectively just from washington, d.c.. this is a big deal for us to work together. we've had tremendous partnerships over the years. it started -- excuse me. when i became attorney in 1981 rudy giuliani created of the law
enforcement coordinating committees which all of you are familiar with directing the united states attorneys to listen to the local law enforcement community as to what they thought the threats were and it wasn't such a big deal in mobile alabama. i thought it was an effective plan and i would like to see that policy and hands and move forward to restore that. there is nothing wrong legally, morally or intellectually. why shouldn't we aspire to that goal and we are going to make progress on that and in particular people who come here to commit crimes are going to be
out of here. some of the countries that are refusing to take them back have the ability and power and the legathe power andthe legal reque action against them a lot of people committed serious crimes to enter the country unlawfully and they are holding them because the countries won't take them back. i would love to have any questions that you might have or any suggestions you might have as to how the department of justice can better serve you.
at this point in history, i sense that we could be at a pivotal point in time and if we takif we takethe right actions m the law enforcement technique. if we don't take that action now i'm afraid we are going to be good to setosee this trend contd even accelerate and have a lot of destruction in the country that could have been avoided. we appreciate the leadership that you provide to this country and state and i feel like i lost
time with what happened out there on the streets today and if you work with me i would be pleased to work with you and we could do some good work for this great republic. thank you. ask the >> a former member of the house untihouseuntil confirmed earlies year by the governor to replace a colleague in the senate. thank you for your service appreciate you being here. we are not going to be able to fight crime effectively from
washington, d.c. and many of us don't have the charge to protect the people of the state this sti also agree when you say they should be out of here so i hope you're able to continue to work together. in california we've seen crime rates drop since the 80s and 90s and los angeles. one of the reasons we've been able to succeed bringing crime down is because we have the cooperation of the folks throughout the communities we need as witnesses and to have cooperate with us when things do occur. we are finding some of the actions the administration is taking to enforce immigration law is causing a lot of fear throughout the state and people are beginning to fear approaching law enforcement for
fear they may be apprehended in the process of trying to the witnesses. i would urge you to take a look at the process howe from washington, d.c. you try to help us provide public safety to our people because our police and sheriffs departments have developed a strong working relationships throughout the state of california. we would like to continue to see that and continue the relationship we have had because we also want to interact drugs and to stop human trafficking and make sure that we go after the gangs and we hope we can do that with support. >> we are having some disagreements in certain areas with state and local governments and those kind of things which i think we've got to work for. to me it is a shocking thing that we don't have universal
respect between the law enforcement agencies where when one has charges the other turns over the offenders to carry on the just punishment. it's going to be a tough challenge. but there's other arguments and principles at work so we will do our best to be fair and responsible in the positions we take. we do not need to have a big brawl between the law enforcement agencies if we can avoid that.
>> the one thing i can tell you i can speak for this war on drugs. thank you for your commitment and as you know it's not, it is the things they are mixing together. we are fighting a new war. thank you for being our partner on that. it is killing our kids and citizens every day and i know hugh and how tough you are going to be on that so thank you. >> it's now 120 had a friend
overdose. it's tripled in just four or five years. it is a part of that which i'm learning from law enforcement is worse then i understood. we will continue to work on it. crime does although drugs. in the 70s and 80s we saw so many lives destroyed by drug abuse and i think today they are more powerful and addictive and they can destroy even more lives. young people have their lives destroyed. i am dubious about marijuana. states can pass whatever laws they choose but i'm not sure that we are going to be a better or healthier nation if we have marijuana being sold at every corner grocery store. i don't think that is going to be good for us.
we will have to work our way through that. i saw a line in the "washington post" today that i remember from the 80s. marijuana is a cure for opioid abuse. give me a break. this is the kind of argument that has been made its trust a desperate attempt to defend and other drugs. part of the federal leadership
will be better drug distribution network cartels threaten the nations to do so and do wha lete money that they extract out of america extend to their organizations into power and less danger they present to the governments and people. i was a shock. we sat by each other for ten years and he is a great guy who was telling me not long ago about a the amount and i was surprised by how available it is. i am telling you we can do
better about that and if i have any ability to do something about it we are going to reduce the availability of prescription drugs. according to the new england journal of medicine, says the problem that we are seeking is more availability, lower price and higher purity and that is pretty much law enforcement. more availability, higher purity and lower price. and that translates into more drug abuse and heroin abuse if we don't watch it. it's good to see you. thanks for your advice. >> we have time for one more question. >> i see this one in the middle. >> think scorpion here. recognizing each state has a
uniqueness if you will, in montana we have a number of federally recognized in one state recognized indian reservation. reservation. in indian country as you know, we have this unique set of jurisdictional issues with sulfur in nations and kind of a hodgepodge if you will of criminal jurisdictions. this is more of an invitation and a question but i would invite you to engage those of us that have any reservations to discuss how we can do better in the indian country and protecting our citizens and making sure that all levels of government are working hand-in-hand together appropriately respecting the sovereignty of the nations to make sure we are doing our best to keep people safe and i would invite you if i could be so bold to come to montana or the --
this is unabashed -- bessemer meeting of the association of the attorneys general iattorneyy montana and june 20, 21 and 22 and while you are there we would love to visit with you about the country and public safety. thank you. >> that is a big challenge for the department of justice. we had one indian tribe in my district and to not learn about the challenges and legal issues and going around talking to my colleagues in the senate prior to the confirmation, didn't do a lot of good -- [laughter] that i listened and said i would remember what i heard that they heard a lot about this issue and it is an issue hopefully we can do better and i would take your
advice on it. let me thank you for the opportunity to be with you and announced today the establishment of a task force that will bring the work and advice of all of our state and local officials and this task force will be is designed to execute with the president asked us to do to make the community safer. i think that is a worthy and a noble goal and there are things we can do that will make a difference and not be hopeless about it. i look forward to working with you to make the country safer and i appreciate the opportunity. thank you all. [applause]
doesn't diminish what our goals were in the affordable care act. those goals were to expand coverage to as many people as possible in the country, to improve benefits for every one and two lower the cost. >> there is an individual sentiment if you will. i look at myself as a product of my choices and not a victim of my circumstances. [applause] that is what conservative feminism is about. >> homeland security secretary john kelley' kelly spoke about deportations. >> all deportations will be according to the legal justice system, which is extensive and includes multiple appeals. the focus of deportations would be on the criminal element that made it into the united states.
all of this will be done as it always is in close coordination with the government of mexico. >> ruth bader ginsburg at stanford university. >> i never saw a woman and a symphony orchestra. someone came up with the bright idea was dropped the curtain between the people who are listening and judges. they worked like magic almost overnight when men were making their way into symphony orchestras. i wish we could duplicate the drop curtain in every area but it isn't that easy. i had one real and one of fictitious role model. one was amelia erhardt and the fictitious one was nancy drew. [laughter]
>> from the british house of commons, debate on the visit to england later this year. >> the day after the inauguration, 2 million mostly women marched on the streets of america. 100,000 marched here in this country and it was an expression of fear and anxiety that we have someone in the white house wielding this enormous power. power wathe power was enormous t unfortunately the intellectual capacity of the president is protozoa. >> president trumps pick for national intelligence said he would investigate the alleged hacking of the election. he testified at the hearing before the senate intelligence committee which is chaired by seto