tv Open Phones on Attorney General Confirmation Hearing Part 3 CSPAN January 10, 2017 6:03pm-6:27pm EST
>> ten days to the inauguration of donald trump as president and the u.s. senate fulfilling its constitutional duty in advise and consent, the first of his nominees, senator jeff sessions of alabama, nominated to be attorney general with a hearing that got under way today at 9:30 eastern and still has a little way to go, according to senator grassley, the chair of the judiciary committee. they will probably be back by about 6:15 eastern or so. we may get a third round of questions from senators and some
final comments from senator grassley as well. expected their initial anticipated end time for this was about 6:30 eastern. looks like it could go a little bit longer than that. glad you're here tuning in, joining us for the coverage this evening. 202-748-8920 is the number to call to comment on your thoughts on what you're hearing from senator sessions and the questions. that's the democrats line. republicans, 202-748-8921. for independents and others, 202-748-8922. we expect the committee to gavel back in 15 minutes or so. if you are on facebook, we will read some of your comments. we have been streaming this throughout the day. facebook.com/csfan and on twitter. all of this part of our commitment to you to cover the cabinet hearings the senate will hold including today, covering the homeland security committee hearing, looking at retired
general john kelly. we will show that later in our schedule. this hearing, the judiciary committee hearing in the senate, we are expecting to show that to you this evening on c-span 2 in its entirety at about 8:00 p.m. eastern. all depends on when the senate finishes up its work. let's go to concord, north carolina and patricia on the republican line. good evening. >> caller: good evening. >> you are on the air. >> caller: i would like to say i think senator sessions would make a fantastic attorney general. he's got all the good answers. thank you. >> what stood out in terms muof what stood out in what you're hearing from senator sessions? >> caller: he knows what he's talking about. they ask him all of these questions, you know, i'm not a -- what would i call it --
>> an expert. >> caller: i'm not a political person, but the answers that he's given lines up with my way of thinking about things and he thinks about something before he says it. >> thanks for the call. we hear from rock spring, georgia next, independent line. hello there, alan. >> caller: hello. i just wanted to comment and say i appreciate c-span for covering these important events. it's good to have that public lens in any kind of government process. i think more citizens are becoming aware of government processes and are excited to watch via c-span and i'm one of them. in regard to the hearing, what
troubles me the most is the almost mccarthyism that i'm hearing from democrats with this guilt by association. the senators have asked senator sessions to return these awards he had been given is absolutely p proposterous if you are listening as an american citizen, like lindsey graham and many others have said, many of these senators receive awards all the time. it's just a way to smear a person and i think it's very unfortunate that the democrats have not learned their lesson from this election. >> that's alan in georgia. appreciate that. in addition to our coverage here, live coverage here and
streaming online, we will show the entire jeff sessions hearing on c-span 2 tonight beginning at 8:00 eastern. of course, with a caveat that some of that may depend when the senate actually finishes up work this evening. busy in the senate today as they continue working on the budget resolution that will include that effort to repeal the 2010 health care law. coverage over on c-span 2. duluth, minnesota, welcome to andrew on the democrats line. >> caller: hi. thanks for having me. i would just like to thank c-span for hosting this live broadcast. the media can seem convoluted and can skew things, in my opinion. it's just nice to see this process live and direct without anything in between. that being said, i think sessions seems like an honorable man in the way he presents
himself and i am disturbed by some of the facts that have been brought up from his past and i would personally like to see more evidence regarding that either for or against things he's said. >> andrew, i'm sorry. i missed that last part. go ahead. >> caller: i said i would like to see more evidence whether it be in quotes that he said from the past or things that he's done in regards to this talk about racism and bigotry, you know. some of that stuff was 30 years ago and you know, it's not right to say but it could be understood at those times. i would just like to see more evidence and more talk on that subject rather than taking the word of what people are saying but seeing some proof, some paper, you know what i'm saying? >> right. right. well, we at least will hear a few more senators from what we
understand, maybe a third round of questioning coming up in just a few minutes. we want to remind you about our coverage continuing live here and tonight in prime time, but tomorrow again, our commitment on the c-span networks to bring you live coverage of congressional hearings. here's what it looks like for wednesday. rex tillerson, former exxon chief nominated to be secretary of state. live coverage on cspan.org tomorrow 9:15 eastern. jeff sessions, that hearing also, day number two, will be on cspan.org. the tillerson hearing will also be tomorrow on c-span 3. you can catch that here. elaine chao, transportation secretary, tomorrow, 10:15. all of that again streamed live at cspan.org. next up, we hear from george in rockaway park, new york, republican line. >> caller: thank you, c-span, for everything you have been doing for the past 20 years. my comment is why do the
democrats worry so much about the muslims when they are the only religion in this country that causes problem to the americans? >> all right, george. thanks for your comment. senator grassley in the room. couple comments on facebook. lots of comments there. ann says senator sessions will not be having secret meetings at distant airports with someone whose wife and his foundation are under investigation by multiple agencies. joan says when sessions says no person is above the law and he will prosecute corruption no matter where, does that mean he will investigate president trump? hearing could resume momentarily. let's try to get another call. our democrats line. montgomery, alabama. carmen, hello. >> caller: hi. i'm from alabama and i live here and i'm telling you, sessions is a racist person. i hope they don't let him be
attorney general. which is very important. and black people are not just saying that. this is things that we actually witnessed. so that's my comment. >> carmen, what is the biggest thing that you don't like as jeff sessions as your state's senator? >> caller: well, there's a lot of things that go on in alabama against african-americans, especially as far as the justice system is concerned. and they talk about muslims. in the prisons, muslims is treated far worse than christians. to christians, they get dinners and different things when they have their holiday. the muslims, it's not allowed to do that. when they send things to the prison, they send it and the christians get it. >> let you go, carmen. thanks for that view from alabama. the independent line next.
leesburg, virginia. hello to jim as we wait for senator sessions to return to the hearing room. >> caller: thank you very much for this opportunity. i heard dick durbin earlier today and there may have been more than him but i remember him in particular. he talked a lot about immigration and convicting people or putting them in jail, sending them out of the country because they are illegal and they have children here. i would just like to say that their parents knew when they came into this country that they were running into a risk and i would also like to say that we have, supposedly this is a land of laws and if the law is you cross the border illegally, you get sent back and we also, from my standpoint, it doesn't make any difference who it is coming across the borders and whether it's canada or whether it's mexico or if it's coming in from the caribbean or where.
when you can't guard your borders and/or you determine you're not going to, you allow yourself opportunities for terrorists to come into the country. so i think if the law is the law, you take care of it. if i go out and rob a bank because my wife has cancer, that might be a noble cause but i broke the law. you can bet i'm probably going to go to jail. that's what i have to say. >> all right, jim. want to remind you, reairing this on c-span 2 tonight at 8:00 eastern. looking ahead to the week, our commitment on the c-span networks to bring you coverage of congressional hearings. the defense secretary nominee, former retired general james mattis testifying before the senate armed services committee, that hearing live thursday at 9:30 eastern on c-span 3. another view from alabama, this time the republican line. we hear from alabaster, alabama and mary. >> caller: how you doing? thank you so much. you know, i am a republican as
well but i am in opposition of senator sessions. his record especially when it comes to voting is just horrible. i listened to what the senator said about north carolina, with their strict voting law, and i think if mr. sessions who has a horrible record, i feel that the voting rights would never be fully restored under him and i also feel as if you know he's kind of a sheep in wolf's clothing. he has a horrible record and the things he said in the past, i heard another caller say he needs more information, but i remember maya angelou saying when someone shows you who re are the first time, you have to believe them. if he shows he has a racist past and a bigot, you have to believe him. i hope they vote against him. we do not need a sheep in wolf's clothing in the highest office. >> waiting for the return of
senator sessions. all day long coverage on c-span 3 of the senate armed services committee day one of their confirmation hearing for jeff sessions, who has been in the senate for 20 years now, selected by donald trump to be his attorney general nominee. day number one today. another session will follow tomorrow. we expect this evening still more questions to come from possibly several other members and from chairman grassley as well. we will continue to take your calls and comments. it's been fairly calm in the hearing room the last couple of hours or so but a fairly rowdy, rough start earlier in the day. fox news tweets 25 people were arrested by the capitol police today in the sessions hearing, 18 of those rather were charged, removed from the hearing and seven of those arrested in senator sessions' office. in trenton, new jersey, michael on the independent line. >> caller: good evening. how are you? >> doing fine, thanks. >> caller: i just wanted to say i have been watching this hearing since the start of this
morning. i think it's par for the course. i think senator jeff sessions from alabama has actually answered the questions very honestly, very earnest, and probably best of his ability. what i find disturbing during the whole entire process is like mentioned prior to on the other calls is like senator durbin and this guy blumenthal from connecticut, it's very disturbing actually to see these type of questions going off in left field. this is a confirmation of an attorney general. the questions that need to be asked of this guy should be substantive directly to the laws and law enforcement of the united states and you know, it's really disappointing in my opinion, my assessment of how it goes on left hand, go way out in right field, not saying what really needs to be asked so the american people can watch this and make an informed decision as to who we are going to have in the law enforcement agency of the united states. that's my assessment. >> in tomorrow's session,
senator sessions is expected to be endorsed by senator susan collins of maine. the hill reporting here with some reaction to cory booker's effort to testify or speak against senator sessions. senator tom cotton calls booker testimony disgraceful breach of custom. they write that tom cotton today hit senator cory booker for his plans to testify against senator sessions during his confirmation hearings as president-elect trump's pick for attorney general, quote, i'm very disappointed senator booker has chosen to start his 2020 presidential campaign by testifying against senator sessions. that's from tom cotton. senator from arkansas. here's baton rouge, louisiana as we wait for the return of senator sessions, here's nick on the democrats line. >> caller: hello. thank you for taking my call. >> you bet. >> caller: it is my observation that the elected officials' questioning senator sessions, at least the republicans, are
simply in the case of lindsey graham almost like it's leading questions and almost like they are testifying on his behalf, and relating their experiences that they have had in the past as buddies and how long they have known each other. i think senator graham could have used the time more constructively to ask him questions. i'm especially disappointed in our senator, john kennedy, for basically saying nothing other than hey, how would you describe your experiences over the last 15 years in various offices you have held and saying i have already made up my mind. i think soeriously, you can't think of one question to ask the man? thanks. that's all i have to say. >> yeah, senator john kennedy from louisiana certainly elected in that run-off election in louisiana in early december. i'm not so sure he's even spoken on the floor of the senate yet but we saw him twice today, two rounds of questioning of jeff sessions.
taking your calls as we wait to hear -- wait for the hearing to resume. st. paul, minnesota, jane on the republican line. go ahead. >> caller: yes. thank you. i am a republican from minnesota and i would like to apologize to the rest of the nation for the pompous comedian that we need to call in minnesota a u.s. senator for his questioning, and obviously clueless about any kind of information that an attorney general would be -- would need to do. i'm just very sorry that we had to endure this and thank you. >> all right. thank you, jane. milford, connecticut, good evening to lee on the independent line. >> caller: hi. i just want to thank you for c-span but i was discouraged
about my senator from connecticut, blumenthal. i think he really acted obnoxiously and he should be giving award for the worst senator and worst words of the whole session. thank you. >> here on c-span 3 throughout the day we have been bringing you live coverage from the senate judiciary committee. they started this hearing at 9:30 this morning. they have taken a few breaks and this one started about 6:00 eastern. what we expect to happen is for them to return for one last round, possible couple of senators and the chairman, senator grassley wrapping things up on day number one. again, this is the first of two days with jeff sessions. senator sessions testifying today and then other witnesses expected tomorrow. to new york, vincent on the democrats line. >> caller: yes, hello. well, i think senator jeff sessions presented himself very well but i really don't think
he's the person we want in that office. there are many examples of racism on his part and i don't think he could fulfill the duties properly. we have heard quotes such as i didn't think the kkk was so bad until i knew they smoked marijuana. i don't think that's proper for anyone to say, whether or not he says it was a joke. we already know he was rejected once for a federal judge position because of his racism. i don't think we can have that administering our country's laws protect our citizens on civil rights issues. >> what did you hear from senator sessions' answer in terms of the issue of marijuana? where do you stand on the issue first and are you encouraged or discouraged by his response? >> caller: well, i'm discouraged because he didn't explain it well. i'm in favor of legalization of marijuana in the first place but i think that just the fact he made that joke just showed he's comfortable making that joke which is unacceptable for the nominee for government office. >> from diana calling us from
patrick air force base. good evening. go ahead. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. i was listening early this morning to dianne feinstein when she did her opening statement and she wanted to know if sessions was going to ignore whatever the president wanted basically. i'm not going to go according to what president donald trump is going to ask for. now, she went through the whole thing. all the democrats and the republicans asked him many questions and they are crafting a lot of gotcha questions and i'm glad they did because it showed how low the democrat people are, and there's only one statement that sessions made that i wish he didn't that he would not get involved in anything to do with hillary clinton sentencing or investigation or whatever. i'm sorry he recused himself on
that because i would like to see her ass in jail. thank you. >> that's diana. next to chicago and hear from constance on the democrats line. you have been -- >> caller: hi. >> how are you? go ahead. >> caller: i'm okay. i have been listening to this program most of the day. >> oh, good. >> caller: i'm kind of upset, i'm kind of sad, because republicans tend to ask jeff sessions real easy questions. they don't tend to badger him. not to say anyone should be badgered but i think they should offer a little bit more challenging questions. ted cruz praised him on the ku klux klan convicting someone which i think what is one good thing when we have so many bad things? another point, i want somebody to ask him how does he feel about the felons who have been to prison and who cannot vote? when do these people get to vote? they have done their time.
also, north carolina, the governor there is acting totally inappropriate. he wouldn't even come down. i would like to know sessions' feelings on north carolina. >> there are still a few more minutes left in the hearing from what we understand. maybe some of those questions have not been asked. our caller from chicago. president obama in chicago this evening, back in his hometown for his farewell address from mccormick park. that will be live over on c-span at 9:00 eastern. also streaming live at cspan.org tonight 9:00 eastern. redmond, washington, jennifer on the independent line. >> caller: hi, there. i wanted to call attention back to senator hatch's comments regarding the number of legal and police organizations that were supporting jeff sessions. i actually find it misleading in suggesting he cannot be biased because the police organizations support him. senator hatch phrased it as a
rhetorical question, would they support a question who was biased. he argued that no, they would not as proof of jeff sessions' trustworthiness. i personally disagree. i would say that yes, many police organizations which have an implicit bias would support a nominee who was likewise biased. i think this is something very important to consider. someone earlier mentioned that questions should be tied directly to what the attorney general will be doing and i find, i mean, criminal justice reform is going to be one of the eminent concerns of our time and this is -- >> thanks, jennifer. we will let you go. there's senator sessions back in the hearing room. >> thank you. senator, last friday, the director of national intelligence, we covered this a little, representing 16 agencies, released a