WASHINGTON (AP) — Two men wearing Ku Klux Klan costumes were removed from the confirmation hearing for Sen. Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump's pick for attorney general, after they caused a disruption.
As security took them out of the room, they yelled, "you can't arrest me, I am white!" and "white people own this government!"
Civil liberties advocates have cited Sessions' voting record and his appearances before groups that espouse harsh views on Muslims and immigrants. He was rejected for a federal judgeship by the Senate Judiciary Committee 30 years ago amid accusations of racial insensitivity.
In a prepared opening statement, Sessions said he understands "the history of civil rights and the horrendous impact that relentless and systemic discrimination and the denial of voting rights has had on our African-American brothers and sisters."
Republican Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley described Sessions as "a man of honor and integrity" who is "dedicated to the faithful and fair enforcement of the law."
But the committee's top Democrat, Dianne Feinstein, said she wants to find out whether Sessions can enforce laws that he voted against. She noted that Sessions has in the past voted against hate-crimes legislation.
Sessions told the panel that he would crack down on illegal immigration, gun violence and radical Islamic terrorism.'
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