Politics

Gillibrand on Sessions: ‘I Don’t See How He Can Be Attorney General’

New York Democrat speaks out against Trump’s Cabinet pick

Demonstrators from People for the American Way hold a protest in Washington on Friday against the nomination of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as President-elect Donald Trump’s attorney general. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand voiced concerns Monday over whether her colleague, Sen. Jeff Sessions, should be considered for the post of attorney general in the incoming Donald Trump administration.

Gillibrand, a Democrat, told WNYC that she had “grave concerns” about the Alabama Republican because of the dangerous and incendiary nature of remarks he made about Donald Trump’s leaked 2005 “Access Hollywood” video in which he bragged about groping women. 

In the days following the release of the recording, Sessions refused to characterize Trump’s words as describing sexual assault, saying it would be a stretch to do so.

“I have to say, those comments are so offensive, and so dangerous,” Gillibrand said Monday. “And if he doesn’t understand the basics of what sexual assault is, I don’t know how he can be attorney general. Because, honestly, that’s one of the attorney general’s jobs.”

Gillibrand is well-known for trying to draw attention to sexual assault and harassment on college campuses. She is a co-sponsor of the Campus Safety and Accountability Act.

She said the revelation of Trump’s 2005 comments “created a national conversation that I’m going to continue, and we’re going to talk about why it’s not OK to brag about sexually assaulting women and why it’s not locker-room talk. It is criminal, criminal behavior.” 

Sessions has also been accused of racism for comments he is alleged to have made in the 1980s, and civil rights groups across the country have expressed concerns about his possible nomination.

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