After controversial Hawaii comment, Sessions says 'nobody has a sense of humor'

Kathleen Mckinney
April 25, 2017

Jeff Sessions on Sunday declined to apologize for his controversial remarks about Hawaii this week, which the attorney general dismissed as "an island in the Pacific" while criticising a judge's decision to block Donald Trump's travel ban on several Muslim-majority nations.

The Post's Matt Zapotosky explains why a federal judge in Hawaii on March 15 ruled to freeze President Trump's second travel ban hours before it went into effect. Hawaii is an archipelago of eight major islands, one of which is named "Hawaii" - but not the one on which Judge Derrick K. Watson, the federal judge in question, resides.

"We're going to get paid for it one way or the other", Sessions said on ABC's This Week.

Sessions instead defended the administration's actions, saying that the executive order is "lawful" and he plans to continue the fight to reinstate it.

The controversy over Sessions' description of Hawaii erupted on Tuesday.

"I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and Constitutional power", Session said of the 50th state on Wednesday to a far right wing radio host.


Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) said Monday that congressional efforts this week to fund the government could include appropriation for President Trump's proposed border wall.

"There's no problem with getting this done, and it's going to save a huge amount of money because we're going to see this rapid decline in the number of people that come into our country illegally, housing, deportation cost, all kinds of costs will be reduced when we reduce that flow".

Sen. Mazie Hirono called the comments "ignorant and risky".

People, especially those from Hawaii, were not amused.

When, Stephanopoulos pressed Sessions on This Week for a response to Hirono, asking "Why not just call it the state of Hawaii?" "ICE detainer requests are just that - requests", said the mayor, "and holding undocumented immigrants without a warrant is purely voluntary, and some courts have called it unconstitutional".

"The president told me to do two things", Kelly said.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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