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After controversial Hawaii comment, Sessions says ‘nobody has a sense of humor’

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After controversial Hawaii comment, Sessions says ‘nobody has a sense of humor’

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions says people should lighten up about controversial comments he made earlier this week about the state of Hawaii.

When asked by ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview Sunday on This Week about why he referred to Hawaii as an “island in the Pacific,” Sessions responded “nobody has a sense of humor anymore.”

Sessions stirred up controversy this week when he referred to Hawaii as an “island in the Pacific” to conservative radio host Mark Levin on his program.

“I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president from the United States what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power,” Sessions said on the program Tuesday.

Sessions’ comments were referring to the Hawaii judge who issued a nationwide restraining order on President Trump’s revised executive order that calls for suspending the entire refugee program for 120 days and halting immigration from six countries in the Middle East and Africa for 90 days.

Sessions’ comments prompted backlash from Hawaii’s Democratic senators and representatives in Congress.

“The suggestion that being from Hawaii somehow disqualifies Judge Watson from performing his Constitutional duty is dangerous, ignorant, and prejudiced,” Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, said in a statement Thursday. “I am frankly dumbfounded that our nation’s top lawyer would attack our independent judiciary. But we shouldn’t be surprised. This is just the latest in the Trump Administration’s attacks against the very tenets of our Constitution and democracy.”

Hirono also tweeted, “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.”

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

When, Stephanopoulos pressed Sessions on This Week for a response to Hirono, asking “Why not just call it the state of Hawaii?” Sessions instead defended the administration’s actions, saying that the executive order is “lawful” and he plans to continue the fight to reinstate it.

“The president — nobody has a sense of humor anymore. Look. The president has to deal with the Department of Defense, the national intelligence agencies, CIA. He knows the threats to this country. He is responsible for protecting America,” the attorney general said. “This order is lawful. It’s within his authority constitutionally and explicit statutory authority. We’re going to defend that order all the way up. And so you do have a situation in which one judge out of 700 in America has stopped this order.

“I think it’s a mistake. And we’re going to battle in the courts and I think we’ll eventually win,” Sessions added.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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‘Pure joy,’ but concern, too, for family of formerly missing Tenn. student

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‘Pure joy,’ but concern, too, for family of formerly missing Tenn. student

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) — The brother of the Tennessee teen allegedly kidnapped by a former teacher says that now that she is finally back with her family, “she’s like herself and in ways she’s not.”Elizabeth Thomas, 15, …

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Girl Scout troop is ‘first single troop’ for homeless girls in New York

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Girl Scout troop is ‘first single troop’ for homeless girls in New York

Courtesy of NYC Council Member Jimmy Van Bramers office(NEW YORK) — It’s what the Girl Scouts of Greater New York is calling a first.Girl Scout Troop 6000 — which serves homeless girls and women in New York — is the first “full single unit…that se…

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March for Science held in cities around world calls for respect, funding

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March for Science held in cities around world calls for respect, funding

Simona Granati/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Scientists and supporters of science marched in cities around the world Saturday to push back against what organizers said is “an alarming trend toward discrediting scientific consensus and restricting s…

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Wildfires rage across Florida, destroying homes and displacing thousands

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Wildfires rage across Florida, destroying homes and displacing thousands

iStock/Thinkstock(NAPLES, Fla.) — Three separate wildfires raged across parts of Florida on Saturday, burning up homes and forcing the evacuation of thousands of residents.One blaze has burned 5,500 acres and destroyed nine homes in Collier County nea…

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Arizona police questioning person of interest in Phoenix serial shootings that killed 7

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Arizona police questioning person of interest in Phoenix serial shootings that killed 7

Phoenix Police Department(PHOENIX) — Police in Phoenix are investigating a person of interest in connection with a series of shootings that occurred in 2016 that claimed 7 lives, a law enforcement source told ABC News.In July, the Phoenix Police Depar…

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Missing Tenn. student Elizabeth Thomas is ‘resting’ after reuniting with her family

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Missing Tenn. student Elizabeth Thomas is ‘resting’ after reuniting with her family

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation(CULLEOKA, Tenn.) — The 15-year-old Tennessee girl who was allegedly kidnapped by her former teacher has been reunited with her family and friends, the family’s attorney said in a statement.Elizabeth Thomas returne…

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Memphis high school senior class collects more than $80 million in scholarship offers

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Memphis high school senior class collects more than $80 million in scholarship offers

Shelby County Schools Newsroom(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) — While students across the nation continue to narrow down their college options, Whitehaven High School in Memphis, Tennessee, is already in full-fledged celebration mode with its 2017 senior class so fa…

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Inside the isolated cabin where Elizabeth Thomas and Tad Cummins were found

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Inside the isolated cabin where Elizabeth Thomas and Tad Cummins were found

ABC News(CECILVILLE, Calif.) — The tiny cabin where authorities found former Tennessee teacher Tad Cummins and his 15-year-old student, Elizabeth Thomas, is nestled in the woods in a remote, mountainous area of inland, northernmost California near the…

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What we know about former Tenn. teacher Tad Cummins’ relationship with 15-year-old student Elizabeth Thomas

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What we know about former Tenn. teacher Tad Cummins’ relationship with 15-year-old student Elizabeth Thomas

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation(CULLEOKA, Tenn.) — After more than a month on the run amid a nationwide manhunt, former Tennessee teacher Tad Cummins was found with his 15-year-old student, Elizabeth Thomas, in far northern California.Cummins wa…

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