Of all of Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees, perhaps none has been quite as controversial a choice as his pick for Attorney General: Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions. A staunch conservative, and one of Trump’s earliest—and most vociferous—supporters, Sessions’ decades-long career has been continuously dogged by allegations of racism and bigotry.
Given his, shall we say, checkered past, experts predicted that his Senate confirmation hearing would be particularly contentious. And so it proved. A series of disruptive outbursts punctuated the proceedings almost from the start—starting with a group of protesters dressed as Ku Klux Klan members, who cheered Sessions’ as he entered the room. When the protesters were escorted out by police, they loudly proclaimed that “white people don’t get arrested.”
Another protester from the Code Pink activist group was soon removed from the Senate Chamber as Sen. Susan Collins (R–ME) spoke in favor of Sessions’ nomination.
A third group of protesters then stood and chanted “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA” as Sessions began his opening remarks.
Later, another protester stood and chanted during an exchange between Sessions and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–SC) regarding the fate of the prison at Guantanamo Bay.
As Graham presses Sessions’ on accusations of Racism, a separate group of protesters were removed after again chanting “no Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA.” In response, Graham joked “at least I’m clearing the room for you.”
The day before Sessions’ Senate hearing, a group of faith leaders lead by North Carolina NAACP president Rev. William Barber marched from the Lutheran Church of the Reformation to the Senate office building and delivered statements against Sessions’ nominations to legislative leaders.
Sessions’ hearing is just getting started. I will add more in-session protests to this story as they occur.