Attorney General Jeff Sessions – criticized for joining students chanting the anti-Hillary Clinton slogan "Lock Her Up" – said Thursday he should have told the high schoolers that everybody must be "presumed innocent."
"I met with a group of enthusiastic high school students, and they spontaneously broke into that chant," Sessions said at a press conference aired by MassLive.
"I perhaps should have taken a moment to advise them of the fact that . . . you're presumed innocent until cases are made."
Sessions created a stir Tuesday as he delivered a speech to conservative students as part of Turning Point USA's High School Leadership Summit.
As Sessions spoke about the importance of freedom of speech on college campuses, he told the audience, "You're going to stand up and defend yourselves for values you believe in . . . I like this bunch, you're not going to be backing down . . . Go get 'em."
That is when the crowd of teenagers started chanting "Lock Her Up!" – President Donald Trump's campaign taunt to Hillary Clinton as a video aired on C-SPAN shows.
"Lock her up," Sessions said once with a smile as the sing-song missive went on. "I heard that a long time over the last campaign.”
CNN Editor-at-Large Chris Cillizza called the response “inappropriate.”
“This is the top law enforcement officer of the United States joking about imprisoning a former secretary of state (and first lady), despite the fact that no actual charges have been filed against Clinton,” Cillizza said.
"Lock her up!’’ was famously chanted by participants at the 2016 Republican National Convention, referring to Clinton’s questionable use of a private email server for government communications.
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