Attorney General Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsDOJ clarifies Sessions's remark: 'Hawaii is in fact an island in the Pacific' Trump team brings tough talk to border Hawaii senators fire back at Sessions' 'island in the Pacific' comment MORE says he was "amazed" a judge in Hawaii could halt President Trump's order blocking people from six predominately Muslim countries from entering the U.S.
"I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power," Sessions said on "The Mark Levin Show," as first reported by CNN.A federal judge in Hawaii in March placed a nationwide hold on the president's revised travel order.
Sessions' remarks sparked quick criticism from Hawaii's Democratic senators.
Sen. Mazie HironoMazie HironoHawaii senators fire back at Sessions' 'island in the Pacific' comment Dem senators ask Bannon for more info about Breitbart contact Sessions 'amazed' judge 'on an island in the Pacific' halted Trump travel order MORE tweeted, "this #IslandinthePacific has been the 50th state for going on 58 years. And we won’t succumb to your dog whistle politics."
Hey Jeff Sessions, this #IslandinthePacific has been the 50th state for going on 58 years. And we won’t succumb to your dog whistle politics— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) April 20, 2017
Sen. Brian Schatz told the attorney general to "have some respect."
Mr. Attorney General: You voted for that judge. And that island is called Oahu. It's my home. Have some respect. https://t.co/sW9z3vqBqG— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) April 20, 2017
And former first daughter Chelsea Clinton, weighed in, tweeting: "Someone please tell Sessions that Hawaii is a state."
Someone please tell Sessions that Hawaii is a state. An American in Hawaii is as American as one from Alabama. Or Indiana. https://t.co/kZb43EmCFp— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) April 20, 2017
In the interview, Sessions addressed the legal fight over the order.
"We've got cases moving in the very, very liberal 9th Circuit, who — they've been hostile to the order," Sessions said.
"We won a case in Virginia recently that was a nicely written order that just demolished, I thought, all the arguments that some of the other people have been making."
Sessions added that he is "confident" the president will "prevail on appeal and particularly in the Supreme Court, if not the 9th Circuit."
"So this is a huge matter," he said.
The federal judge's temporary restraining order blocked the major components of the travel ban: a temporary suspension of the refugee resettlement program and a block on nationals from six majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days.
Sessions also said during the interview that judges shouldn't get to "psychoanalyze" President Trump to decide whether his order is lawful. He praised newly seated Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and his predecessor, Antonin Scalia, for being "faithful to the law."
"They honor it and don't try to remake it as they'd like it to be."
Updated at 3:38 p.m.