During a speech to Turning Point USA’s High School Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, the nation’s top law enforcement official joined with students in a chant calling for one of Trump’s political opponents to be imprisoned.
“Lock her up!” Sessions said. “Well, so, I heard that a long time during the last campaign.”
JUST IN: AG Sessions laughingly echoes "lock her up" as audience at a high school leadership summit in DC begins chant. pic.twitter.com/csv194SpU5
— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 24, 2018
Sessions was referring to one of the Trump campaign’s signature slogans — that Hillary Clinton should be imprisoned for unspecified crimes. Clinton was investigated by the FBI and exonerated of criminal wrongdoing related to her email practices, and the Inspector General concluded recently that political bias didn’t impact the FBI’s handling of the investigation.
Sessions — who in 2016 served as a U.S. senator from Alabama — was arguably Trump’s most prominent supporter in Congress. While he had a laugh on Tuesday about the prospect of throwing Clinton behind bars, Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, is actually in prison awaiting trial for money laundering, tax evasion, and conspiring against the United States. Manafort’s trial is slated to begin next week.
The charges against Manafort were brought by special counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein after it was revealed that Sessions had made false statements under oath about his campaign contacts with Russian officials, prompting his recusal.
Trump has publicly expressed regret about appointing Sessions as AG. In May, the president tweeted, “There are lots of really good lawyers in the country” and said that of picking someone else as AG, “I wish I did!”
Sessions’ chuckle over the students’ “Lock her up!” chant comes a day after the White House threatened to strip Trump’s political opponents of their security clearances.