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Nation & World

Sessions' Hawaii remarks draws flak

Attorney General dismisses state as an ‘island in the Pacific’ while questioning travel ban decision to block travel ban ruling

Hawaii became the 50th U.S. state in 1959, but Attorney General Jeff Sessions seemed to overlook that fact in a recent interview on “The Mark Levin Show.”

During the Tuesday evening discussion, which was posted online Wednesday, Sessions questioned a Hawaii judge’s decision to block the Trump administration’s travel ban. Rather than referring to the state by name, Sessions called it “an island in the Pacific.”

“We are confident that the president will prevail on appeal and particularly in the Supreme Court, if not the 9th Circuit. So this is a huge matter. 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,” Sessions said.

Hawaii Sens. Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz, and much of the internet, were not pleased with the description, and quickly reminded Sessions’ of Hawaii’s status.

Last month, Judge Derrick Watson blocked the Trump administration’s 90-day ban that would have prevented travel to the U.S. from citizens of six Muslim-majority countries. The Justice Department is appealing that decision.

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