Eric Holder calls Attorney General Jeff Sessions “racially insensitive” and “racially unaware” in an interview with Politico’s “Off Message” podcast.
“I think he has done some things both in his career and as attorney general that I think have been racially insensitive,” the former attorney general criticized, adding, “And there are times when I think he is racially unaware.”
Holder recalled Sessions’ decision to reverse an Obama memo ordering federal prosecutors to refrain from charging defendants with certain offenses that carried mandatory minimum sentences as an example of the attorney general being “racially unaware.”
Holder also said he was distressed by Sessions’ moves on voting rights, criminal justice reform and protections for members of the LQBTQ community.
He stopped short of calling Sessions a racist, however, saying he needs “hard and fast proof” before doing that. But he went on to claim that white nationalist groups are empowered by the Trump administration.
“He has given license, however, to a small part of the electorate of the population to say things that they might not have said before, to do things that they might not have done before,” Holder said, noting that Trump has not lived up to the “moral tone” Americans expect of their leaders.
Holder told Politico that, during the Obama administration, neo-Nazis and white nationalists “didn’t feel empowered in a way that I think they do now.”
He stated that President Trump is “partially” responsible for the change.
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