"Lock Her Up!" chant breaks out as Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks at @tpusa Student Leadership Summit. Sessions says the phrase once.— CSPAN (@cspan) July 24, 2018
Full video here: https://t.co/gAws8tJhgH pic.twitter.com/5BzGK1c2Xy
Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared to repeat the words “Lock her up” while a group of students chanted the now famous anti-Hillary Clinton refrain during a leadership conference at George Washington University.
While many students claimed he chanted along, others said that he was just acknowledging the chant, not joining the students.
During his speech, Sessions was making the case that colleges have been “coddling” students following the 2016 election.That’s when students started to chant the famous refrain, which was often repeated during President Donald Trump’s campaign rallies whenever he mentioned Clinton and her use of a private email server while serving as President Barack Obama’s secretary.
Repeating the phrase with a smile, Sessions added, “I heard that a long time over the last campaign.”
“I like this bunch, I gotta tell ya” he added. “You’re not going to be backing down. Go get ‘em, go get ‘em.”
On Twitter, some users believed Sessions actually joined in the chant, instead of simply acknowledging the rallying cry. Others said that he just repeated the phrase. Regardless of what you think he did, he surely did seem to enjoy the moment.
Here’s the video of Sessions. Not defending him, but not sure this qualifies as Sessions “joining a chant,” as the first Twitter reports have it. https://t.co/BXqsT7KVRi— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) July 24, 2018
This is at the Turning Point USA's high school leadership summit —> https://t.co/0SRMeTRuhb— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) July 24, 2018
JUST IN: Attorney General Jeff Sessions laughs and repeats "Lock her up" as audience at a high school leadership summit here in DC begins chanting those words.— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) July 24, 2018
Clear that Sessions is not joining the “Lock her up” chants, just acknowledging the audience - moves the speech forward https://t.co/MqkR6kQ2pl— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) July 24, 2018
"locksss her uppp master says" pic.twitter.com/aOiko8h6Yr— darth™ (@darth) July 24, 2018
While addressing the crowd, Sessions criticized schools for “actively preventing them from scrutinizing the validity of their beliefs.”
He also mocked students who participated in coping sessions and programs following the 2016 election.
“After the 2016 election, for example, they held a 'cry-in' at Cornell. I hope they had plenty of tissues for 'em to cry on,” he said. “They had therapy dogs at the University of Kansas. Play-Doh and coloring books at the University of Michigan for heaven's sake. You know, give me a break."
It’s obvious that Sessions appeared unwilling to even consider the other side of the debate as he mocked students. But what may be even worse is how he refused to dismiss the crowd's behavior as "uncivilized," especially now that Republicans like Nikki Hayley are asking fellow conservatives to take the high road when debating politics with people who subscribe to different ideologies.