Sen. Richard BlumenthalRichard BlumenthalDem senator rips Sessions’s ‘really bizarre’ Hawaii remark House panel to hold hearing on airline consumer issues Dem senator: Russia ‘unsuitable’ FIFA World Cup host MORE (D-Conn.) on Friday criticized Attorney General Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsDNC chairman slams Sessions for deportation comments Trump: Mexico will 'eventually' pay for border wall Becerra fires back: 'We're not in the business of deportation' MORE for a “really bizarre” remark about a Hawaii-based judge.
Sessions on Thursday said he was “amazed” a judge “on an island in the Pacific” could block President Trump’s controversial travel ban.
“Friendly reminder to Jeff Sessions as our attorney general — number one, Hawaii, that island in the Pacific, is our 50th state,” Blumenthal said on CNN’s “New Day.”
Sessions on Thursday criticized Judge Derrick Watson’s nationwide hold on Trump’s executive order, saying Trump was fairly exercising his “statutory and constitutional power.”
Watson’s temporary restraining order in March effectively halted the major components of Trump’s travel ban. Trump’s order would block nationals from six Muslim-majority nations from entering the country for 90 days and temporarily freeze the refugee resettlement program in the U.S.
Sessions’s remarks sparked backlash among multiple Hawaii lawmakers, including the state’s attorney general and both of its U.S. senators.
The Justice Department on Thursday clarified Sessions’s comments, adding that his criticism of Watson remains valid.
“Hawaii is, in fact, an island in the Pacific — a beautiful one where the Attorney General’s granddaughter was born,” spokesman Ian D. Prior told CNN.
“The point, however, is that there is a problem when a flawed opinion by a single judge can block the President’s lawful exercise of authority to keep the entire country safe.”