Attorney General Jeff Sessions told the leader of a black police organization that Trump’s comments about police using violent methods to subdue members of crime gang MS-13 were made “in jest.”
CNN reports that Perry Tarrant, president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, talked about his meeting with Sessions at a press conference on Tuesday.
Despite defending the president, Sessions was critical of his speech overall, saying to Tarrant it “had the opportunity to impact or detract from” efforts to eradicate MS-13 activity in New York City.
In the speech to a crowd of NYPD officials on Long Island last week, Trump talked about federal efforts to defeat MS-13 and has been criticized for encouraging police brutality. CNN claimed his words actually “emboldened” MS-13 members.
“When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon … you just see them thrown in rough, I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice,'” the president said to the crowd of police officers.
“Like, when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over…?” ” Trump explained. “Like, ‘Don’t hit their head,’ and they’ve just killed somebody. Don’t hit their head? I said, ‘You can take the hand away, okay?’”
With Sessions ostensibly taking CNN’s side on the matter, Trump will undoubtedly be infuriated. The pair’s relationship has been icy in the past few weeks, to say the least. Nonetheless, Trump and Sessions appear to be in this for the long haul.
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