Dem senator rips Sessions’s ‘really bizarre’ Hawaii remark

Sen. Richard BlumenthalRichard BlumenthalSenators push for enhanced powers to battle botnets Five things to know about Joe Lieberman Special counsel appointment gets bipartisan praise MORE (D-Conn.) on Friday criticized Attorney General Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsHispanic Dems demand meeting with Sessions Justice Department to seek Supreme Court review in Trump travel ban case Sessions vows to stop leaks about Manchester attack 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.” 

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“Number two, judges routinely issue orders that apply nationwide so there is nothing amazing about that except that our constitutional system is really amazing. It’s the marvel of the world.”

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.”