Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) criticized President Trump's administration Friday, tying it to the Jim Crow laws that protected racial segregation in the decades after the Civil War.
Giving his opening statement during a town hall at Boys and Girls High School in Brooklyn, Jeffries defended former President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaSchiff: Trump will blame Obama during his entire presidency Trump must challenge Iran's ongoing human rights abuses Overnight Cybersecurity: Anticipation builds for Trump cyber order | House panel refers Clinton IT contractor for prosecution | Pentagon warned Flynn about foreign payments MORE's tenure while contrasting it with the current administration.
"While Jim Crow may be dead, he's got some nieces and nephews that are alive and well. And a few of them are running around 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue," Jeffries said to laughs and cheers from the audience.
Jeffries blasted Trump for saying that he "inherited a mess" when he took office, arguing that Obama was the one who "inherited a mess" from his predecessor only to around the country before Trump took over.
Jim Crow was a blanket term for laws, mostly in the South, that disenfranchised blacks and maintained white control over most of civic life from after the Civil War until the success of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.
Jeffries' office did not return a request to comment on his statement.
Jeffries also blasted Attorney General Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsHouse panel refers Clinton server company for prosecution Sessions to keep up fight on sanctuary cities despite legal setback Suspended Alabama judge running for Senate MORE's positions on police brutality and racial inequality.
"We have basically gone from a situation where we had an progressive attorney general in in Eric HolderEric H. HolderDNC chairman: Trump’s tax cuts and budget plans are 'morally bankrupt' Holder: Trump's election fraud claims are laying foundation for voter suppression Dem rep: Jim Crow's 'nieces and nephews' are in the White House MORE to a progressive attorney general in Loretta Lynch to a disaster and a 'good-ole boy' in Jeff Sessions. Obviously, we've turned back the clock," he said, adding that Sessions should be on trial for perjury after accusations he lied to the Senate about his conversations with the Russian ambassador.