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tv   Attorney General Nominee Jeff Sessions Testifies at Confirmation Hearing  CSPAN  January 10, 2017 8:26pm-8:42pm EST

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elaine chao, nominated for transportation secretary, coming up tomorrow at 10:15 eastern. all of those streaming live on as we cover all the confirmation hearings for president-elect donald trump's in 2017. at the jeff sessions hearing today, he was asked a whole range of questions dealing with issues including undocumented immigrants, voting rights, and the use of torture, roe versus wade, and hillary clinton's emails. what show you some of the hearing today. we will show all of that on the c-span networks tonight. here's a question from patrick leahy about his comments on banning muslim immigrants. >> the president-elect has repeatedly asserted his attentions -- his intentions to put a ban on muslim immigrants to the united states. in december, you voted against a resolution.
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that the united states must not bar individuals entering the united states based on their religion. all democrats and most republicans voted in support of my resolution. do you agree with the president-elect that the united states can or should deny entry for members of a particular religion? believe -- do you agree with the president-elect that the united states can or should deny entry to all members of a particular religion? i believe the president-elect himself made clear that he believes the focus should be on individuals coming from countries that have history of terrorism, and he has also indicated that his policy and what he suggests is strong vetting of people from those
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countries before they are admitted to the united states. >> why did you vote against the resolution? senator, my view and concern was, and the resolution, it was suggesting that you could not seriously consider a persons religious , and many people do have religious views that are an amicable to the public safety of the united states. i did not want to have a resolution that suggested that that could not be a factor in the vetting process before someone is admitted. i have no belief and do not support the idea that muslims as a religious group should be denied admission to the united states. we have great muslim citizens that contribute in so many different ways, and america, as our greatmy remarks,
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believers in religious freedom and the right of people to exercise their religious beliefs. all of that hearing is rolling on c-span two. you can file it on and individual puts of that 10 hour hearing. c-span covering all of the confirmation hearings of president-elect donald trump's nominees for his cabinet. general james mattis nominated , tammyefense secretary duckworth tweeted that she enjoyed the chance to meet with him today. we'll have that live for you on c-span3 at 9:30 eastern. you can also stream live on
8:30 pm or listen to it on the free c-span radio app. and about half an hour, we are hoping to take you live to chicago. president obama is therefore his farewell address in front of supporters at mccormick place in chicago. we'll have that live and take your calls and comments after that, coming up tonight on c-span. back to that hearing, senator sessions in front of his colleagues in the judiciary committee asked by senator lindsey graham about immigration and reports on russian hacking. here's that back and forth between the two senators. sen. graham: immigration. that the executive order of president obama is still unconstitutional. do you still have that position question mark -- that position? sen. sessions: i do. sen. graham: i agree with you. will you advise the next
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president to repeal that executive order? sen. sessions: there will be a decision that needs to be studied, and he would need to agree to, but it is an executive order, a memorandum of the department of homeland security. it would certainly be constitutional to end that order. the department of justice would have no objection to the decision to abandon that order because it is questionable constitutionally. i agree that i believe it is an overreach. what do we do with the 100,000 kids who come out of the shadows? sen. sessions: fundamentally, we need to fix this immigration system. it is not working right. we have entered more and more millions of people illegally into the country, each one of them produces some sort of humanitarian concern.
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it is particularly true for children. we have been placed in a bad situation. i would urge us all to work together to try to be supportive to end the illegality and put us in a position where he can wrestle with how to handle these difficult compassionate decisions. the best way to do it is for congress and the minister should to work together to pass a law, not an executive order. sen. graham: exactly. people who join -- do youthe blades believe they are subject to being captured or killed under law of war? do. sessions: i i'll see how anyone could see it otherwise. it is the response below the of the military to protect those who -- to protect us from those who attack us. i believe they are growing and we are seeing that in europe and right here in america. sen. graham: do you support the
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continuation of gitmo as a containment facility for foreign terrorists? sen. sessions: is designed for that purpose. if it's that this marvelously well. it is a safe place to keep prisoners. we have invested a lot of money in that, and i believe it could be utilized and should be utilized in that fashion. i oppose the closing of it, -- [indiscernible]
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sen. sessions: i think they're on the fence about gitmo, but i am not sure. [laughter] i support this administration's .ffort to ensure we prosecute they're trying -- sen. graham: they are trying to destroy our way of life. i hope you go after them without apology under the law of war, not domestic criminal law. you will have a friend in senator graham if you intend to do that. attacks. you think the russians were behind hacking into our election? sen. sessions: i have done no research into that. i know only what the media says about it. sen. graham: you think you could get briefed anytime soon? sen. sessions: i need to.
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-- igraham: i need to think you need to, too. do you like the fbi? do you genuinely trust in question mark sen. sessions: yes. sen. graham: are your where the fbi concluded it was the russian intelligence services who hacked into the d&c question mark -- into the dnc? sen. sessions: i do. sen. graham: from your point of view, there is no reason for us to be suspicious of the fbi? their--sen. sessions: of decision, i am sure it was honorably reached. sen. graham: how you feel about a foreign entity trying to interfere in our election? it is pretty clear to me they did. what should we do? is asessions: i think it significant event. we have penetration apparently throughout our government by foreign entities. reveal the chinese
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background information on millions of people in the united states. , ultimately, are part of international big power politics. uses theiron toroperly gained information take policy positions that impact of other nations democracy or approach to any issue, that raises real serious matters. it goes in many ways to the state department and defense department and how we as a nation have to react to that, which would include developing some protocols where i'm a when people breached our system, there's a price to pay, even if we can't prove the exact person who did it. sen. graham: i agree. i've known you for 15 years now.
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a lot of contests on the floor, and sometimes we agree, sometimes we don't. i'm from south carolina, so i know what it's like sometimes to be accused of being a conservative from the south. that means something other than you are a conservative from the south, in your case, people have tried to label you as a racist or big it -- or bigot. how does that make you feel? this is your chance to say something to those people. sen. sessions: it does not feel good. >> [indiscernible]
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sen. sessions: if nothing else, i am clearing the room for you. [laughter] i would suggest that the freedom of speech also has the courtesy to listen. i appreciate the question. you come from south alabama, that sounds worse. up as a united states attorney, i had no real support group. i did prepare myself well in 1986, and there is an organized effort to caricature me as something that wasn't true. it was very painful. i didn't know how to respond and didn't respond very well. i hope my tenure in this body has shown you that the caricature that was created of me was not accurate. it was not accurate then and is not accurate now. i want you to know that as a
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southerner who saw discrimination and have no doubt it existed in a systematic and to aful, negative way great millions of people in the south, i know that was wrong. i know we need to do better. we can never go back. i am totally committed to maintaining freedom and equality that this country has to provide to every citizen, and i assure you that is how i will approach it. host: that hearing went about 10 hours today. you can follow that over on c-span2. you can watch anytime at we are starting to see some video inside the arena at mccormick place in chicago, where president obama is set to make his farewell address, his last speech to the nation.
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that is set to get underway at nine akaka eastern. we will have it live for you here on c-span when it starts. -- we willo follow also follow that with your calls and comments. in that back and forth between senator graham and senator sessions, the discussion on the intelligence reports on russian hacking. a story out of the guardian this evening, fbi chief given a secret alleging trump-russia contacts. that russian intelligence had compromising imperial -- optimizing material on the president-elect. the guardian alleges is a series withts of trump's contact russia.
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trump tweeting, fake news, a total political witchhunt. the intelligence committee heard from james clapper and james comey, the new york times reporting that director james comey telling lawmakers at the hearing that russian hackers had penetrated the republican national committee's computer record, but called it a limited penetration of old rnc computer systems that were no longer in use. take a look at some of the back-and-forth between the chair of the intelligence committee and the ranking democrat on the committee. we start with respect to the findings, we first address russia's goals and intentions. we have high confidence that president putin ordered and influence campaign in 2016 came at the presidential election. the goal of this campaign was to undermine public faith in the


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