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Jeff Sessions confirmation hearing gets underway in US Senate

By Kathryn Higgins

11 January 2017 at 06:30 BST

So far, the confirmation hearing for President-elect Donald Trump's pick for Attorney-General has been just as heated as we all expected.

Teewarut Masawat

Would-be Attorney-General Jeff Sessions looks to have an upward climb ahead of him if he is to secure the approval of the US Senate. As expected, the allegations of racial prejudice against Mr Trump’s nominee have come back in full force, with senators interrogating Mr Sessions for eight hours on Tuesday about his attitudes on race and a string of well-documented dubious remarks about black Americans. The law and order conservative, if confirmed, will be tasked with implementing Mr Trump’s hardline anti-crime platform while serving as the nation’s most senior prosecutor.

Splitting from Trump

Mr Sessions took the opportunity on Tuesday to distance himself from some of Mr Trump’s more controversial policy suggestions. When questioned about Mr Trump’s proposal to bring back waterboarding as an interrogation technique for suspected terrorists, Mr Sessions stated that the practice of waterboarding is ‘absolutely’ illegal. He also assured the Senate that he did not support Mr Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States. On the issue of race, Mr Sessions dismissed accounts of his support for racist organisations like the KKK as ‘damnably false’ and promised to protect minorities and women. Concerns about his views on race were behind the Senate’s decision to reject Mr Sessions’ nomination for a federal judgeship in 1986.

Sources: New York Times; The Guardian


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