Watch Jeff Sessions confirmation hearing live streaming: Day 2

Published 9:54 am Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Day 2 is underway in the Jeff Sessions confirmation hearing and you can watch it live here today.

(See video below).

Here are updates from Day 1 of the Sessions confirmation hearing via the Associated Press:

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5:30 p.m.

Sen. Jeff Sessions is defending his receipt of awards from groups that have espoused strong views against Muslims and immigrants.

Sessions last year received a Keeper of the Flame Award from the Center for Security Policy, whose founder, Frank Gaffney, has warned that the Muslim Brotherhood is infiltrating the federal government in an attempt to overthrow it and install Islamic law in the U.S.

Sessions was questioned about that award and others by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat.

Sessions says he was honored but doesn’t agree with everything the groups stand for.


3:30 p.m.

Asked at his confirmation hearing about a 2005 video in which Donald Trump bragged about using his fame to force himself on women, Sen. Jeff Sessions said he believes grabbing a woman by her genitalia is sexual assault.

Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont asked Sessions, the president-elect’s pick for attorney general, about some conflicting statements Sessions made on the campaign trail after the video was released.

In the video, Trump says, “when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”

Leahy asked Sessions at Tuesday’s hearing: “Is grabbing a woman by her genitals without her consent sexual assault?”

Sessions answered: “Clearly it is.”


1:35 p.m.

Donald Trump’s transition spokesman is condemning the tactics used by Code Pink and other groups protesting Sen. Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing.

Incoming press secretary Sean Spicer tells reporters that the peaceful protesters were attempting “to disrupt our democratic process.”

He said Democratic leaders, including Sen. Chuck Schumer, should be asked to denounce these “left-wing tactics” — just as Trump was asked to denounce what Spicer described as “random individuals” who supported him during the campaign.

It is unclear to whom Spicer referred, but Trump drew criticism over the way he responded to the support of controversial figures, including white supremacists like David Duke.

Protesters including two men wearing Ku Klux Klan costumes were escorted out of Tuesday’s hearing. Some shouted, “No Trump, no KKK. No fascist USA.”


12:50 p.m.

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions says he “has no reason to doubt” the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that connected Russian President Vladimir Putin directly to the hacking of Democratic accounts during the election campaign.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar asked Sessions, Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general, whether he would question the accuracy of the intelligence agencies’ conclusion that Russia hacked into the emails of Democratic officials and paid “trolls” to make nasty comments on social media services.

“I have no reason to doubt that and no evidence of anything otherwise,” Sessions said at his confirmation hearing Tuesday.

Trump himself has been less definitive in response to the intelligence report, though his incoming chief of staff, Reince Priebus, said Sunday that Trump indeed has accepted that Russia was responsible for the hacking.


11:50 a.m.

Sen. Jeff Sessions is expressing his support for keeping open the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba detention facility.

He says he believes it’s a safe place to house suspected terrorists captured overseas and should continue to be used.

That perspective differs from the viewpoint of the Obama administration, which has transferred prisoners to other countries in hopes of ultimately closing it.

The Justice Department in the last eight years has moved to bring militants captured abroad to American courts, rather than placing them in Guantanamo and treating them as military detainees.


11:45 a.m.

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions says he does not support a ban on Muslims entering the United States.

Trump proposed a temporary ban on Muslim immigrants during the Republican primary campaign, drawing sharp criticism from both parties. During the general election, he shifted his rhetoric to focus on temporarily halting immigration from an unspecified list of countries with ties to terrorism. Trump did not disavow the Muslim ban, which is still prominently displayed on his campaign website.

Sessions, Trump’s pick for attorney general, reiterated Trump’s position of stronger vetting of potential terrorists at his confirmation hearing Tuesday, but he denounced a Muslim ban.

Sessions said, “I do not support the idea that Muslims should be denied entry to the United States.”


11 a.m.

Sen. Jeff Sessions is strongly denying allegations of racial animosity that derailed his federal judicial nomination 30 years ago.

He calls the accusations “false” and part of an unfair caricature.

In 1986, he was accused of having called a black attorney “boy” and having made derogatory references to the NAACP and ACLU.

Sessions says he hopes that this week’s hearing on his attorney general nomination will show “that I conducted myself honorably and properly at the time.”

He says he’s the same person he was, but perhaps a little wiser.


10:55 a.m.

Sen. Jeff Sessions said that if he is confirmed as attorney general, he would recuse himself from investigations of Hillary Clinton’s email server after making comments during the presidential election about the matter.

Sessions was asked by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley how he would handle the Clinton probe.

The Alabama senator said because of some of the comments he made, “the proper thing to do would be to recuse myself.”