Washington- Republican Senate Jeff Sessions, who has been nominated by President-elect Donald Trump to become the U.S. Attorney General, faced embarrassment during his interrogation session as it drew loud protests against his appointment.
Sen. Jeff Sessions faced hours of questioning from some of his closest colleagues on Tuesday, as he defended himself, his record and the President-elect who nominated him on fronts including racism allegations.
During the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Democrats waged several fronts against Sessions, who promised to stand up to Trump, saying he would oppose a ban on Muslims entering the country and enforce a law against waterboarding even though he voted against the measure.
“I have no belief and do not support the idea that Muslims as a religious group should be denied admission to the United States. We have great Muslim citizens who have contributed in so many ways,” Sessions said.
“Americans are great believers in religious freedom and the right to exercise their religious beliefs.”
As attorney general, Sessions would serve as the top U.S. law enforcement officer and be responsible for giving unbiased legal advice to the president and executive agencies.
With that in mind, lawmakers from both Trump’s Republican Party and the Democratic Party sought to establish how closely Sessions hewed to Trump positions and whether he could put aside his staunchly conservative political positions to enforce laws he may personally oppose.
Protesters accusing Sessions of having a poor record on human rights interrupted the Capitol Hill proceedings several times.
Sessions said he would not support banning anyone from the United States on the basis of religion and that Trump’s intentions were to restrict people from countries harboring terrorists, not all Muslims.
Elected on Nov. 8, Trump at one point campaigned on a proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country.
Sessions said he favored “higher intensity of vetting” for refugees seeking to enter the United States from countries that harbor terrorists but that he would oppose ending the U.S. refugee program.
Sessions said he would enforce laws upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, even those he disagreed with, such as decisions making abortion and same-sex marriage legal.