CNN’s Costello Loses It Over ‘Controversial’ Sessions; Links Him to Rise in Hate Crimes

The latest liberal media freak-out about the Trump transition commenced on Friday morning upon the announcement of Republican Senator Jeff Sessions (Ala.) as President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for Attorney General and were led by CNN’s Carol Costello lashing out at the “controversial” Sessions who should “concern” Americans and linked him to hate crimes since the election.

Turning first to the Daily Beast’s Jackie Kucinich, Costello harped on Sessions losing out on becoming a federal judge in the 1980s after a Justice Department official claimed he had referred to the NAACP as “un-American” and only grew distant from the KKK upon hearing they smoked pot.

Kucinich was asked about how it will all “enter into Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearing” and unlike Costello, the Daily Beast editor emphasized that he “has denied the allegations in line with that” but predicted that after they’re brought up at his hearing, she “would be really surprised if Jeff Sessions does not ultimately confirmed.”

Somehow, the same CNN personality who laughed hysterically at Bristol Palin being beaten up was not pleased with Kucinich not sharing the same animosity for Sessions and shamefully tried to compare the Alabama senator to the rise in hate crimes: 

I ask you this because many Americans are concerned about minorities at this time. In fact, interestingly enough, the attorney general, the present one, Loretta Lynch, just sent out a press release and this is what it says and she's talking about attacks on minorities across the country. She says “among other alarming trends, this new report” from the Justice Department “showed a 67 percent increase in hate crimes committed against Muslim Americans. It also showed increases in the number much hate crimes committed against Jewish people.”

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Costello’s diatribe was interrupted by Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s arrival at Trump Tower but when she could continue, she pushed the report from Lynch that there’s been “a 67 percent increase in hate crimes committed against Muslim Americans” since the election in addition to “increases in the number of hate crimes committed against Jewish people, African-Americans, and LGBT individuals.”

With Kucinich not going along with Costello, she tried to see if CNN Politics editor Mark Preston would: “So Mark, for that reason, I think that some in America might be concerned about Jeff Sessions' comments even if they did take place 30 years ago.”

Preston pushed back that while “[t]here’s no doubt he will be asked this during his nomination hearing,” Costello should keep in mind that there’s no actual (audio or video) evidence that Sessions said the things that hurt his chances for the federal bench:

A couple things, though, I think we have to keep in mind. One is he has denied making the comments so you know, it is a he said versus he said type of issue. Second thing is, he has served in the Senate for several terms right now and has had to address this in the past....In fact, we have already heard from Democratic senators who say that they plan to do so and that he should expect a full vetting, a full, fair vetting. In the end, I think Jeff Sessions is going to get nominated and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the new head of the Justice Department.

Along with these facts, Costello conveniently didn’t mention how Sessions sought to honor Rosa Parks upon her death in 2009 as “one of Alabama’s most remarkable citizens” (along with awarding her the Congressional Gold Meal) after he had previously filed desegregation lawsuits in his state, backed the Civil Rights Act

Going back to 2009 when Eric Holder was going through the confirmation process, CNN sang a different tune on February 18, 2009 about President Barack Obama’s first pick for Attorney General. 

While discussing past statements by Holder displaying his dislike of this country and feelings that we’re “a nation of cowards” on race issues, CNN’s chief political analyst Gloria Borger defended Holder on that day as simply “trying to be provocative on purpose” and then-CNN personality Soledad O’Brien boasted of his attempts to kick-start an “honest conversation.”

Not surprisingly, Roland Martin also praised Holder’s lambasting of his fellow men and women in that “he’s right” and “[w]e don't want to be forcefully honest about where we stand when it comes to issues of race.”

“He now has a platform. He is the first African-American attorney general. He is going to have a very aggressive office of civil rights in his department, and I think what Eric Holder was trying to do — yes, he's a careful man; yes, he's an insider — but he also comes to this job as a bit of an outsider, and wanted to start that conversation,” Borger added at the time.

The relevant portions of the transcript from CNN Newsroom with Carol Costello on November 18 can be found below.

CNN Newsroom with Carol Costello
November 18, 2016
10:08 p.m. Eastern

CAROL COSTELLO: So, where shall we start? Should we start with the attorney general pick? Let's start with Jeff Sessions, shall we? Because there is some controversial things about Jeff Sessions that should be brought up in his confirmation hearing. So, Jackie, I’ll start with you. 30 years ago, Jeff Sessions' chances of being a federal judge were sunk after a Justice Department prosecutor testified to Congress that sessions called the NAACP “un-American” because quote, “they try to force civil rights down the throats of people” and because Sessions reportedly joked to the prosecutor that the Ku Klux Klan was okay until he found out Ku Klux Klan members smoked pot. So Jackie, how will this enter into Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearing? 

JACKIE KUCINICH: Well, and I mean we should say that Jeff Sessions has denied the allegations in line with that but that said, Democrats will certainly bring this up. That said, I would be really surprised if Jeff Sessions does not ultimately confirmed. Not only — he's a senator, these are his colleagues and generally the president gets who he wants. I think the larger question is what is he going to do in terms of criminal justice reform? What does this mean in terms of immigration? I think there are a lot of other questions that Sessions will have to answer and maybe while he will have to address this, I don't know if this will be a focus. 

COSTELLO: I — I will — I ask you this because many Americans are concerned about minorities at this time. In fact, interestingly enough, the attorney general, the present one, Loretta Lynch, just sent out a press release and this is what it says and she's talking about attacks on minorities across the country. She says “among other alarming trends, this new report” from the Justice Department “showed a 67 percent increase in hate crimes committed against Muslim Americans. It also showed increases in the number much hate crimes committed against Jewish people.”

[LIVE FEED OF PENCE SPEAKING AFTER ARRIVAL AT TRUMP TOWER]

COSTELLO: Going back to what I was talking about, though, this release from the Justice Department by the Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, about attacks on minorities since the election took place. She says the report shows a 67 percent increase in hate crimes committed against Muslim Americans. It also showed increases in the number of hate crimes committed against Jewish people, African-Americans, and LGBT individuals. Overall she says “The number of reported hate crimes increased six percent, a number that does not account for the many hate crimes that may go unreported out of shame or fear.” So Mark, for that reason, I think that some in America might be concerned about Jeff Sessions' comments even if they did take place 30 years ago. 

MARK PRESTON: Yeah, no doubt and we certainly have heard this when speculation was centering around the fact that Jeff Sessions was going to be nominated to be the head of the Justice Department. A couple things, though, I think we have to keep in mind. One is he has denied making the comments so you know, it is a he said versus he said type of issue. Second thing is, he has served in the Senate for several terms right now and has had to address this in the past. There's no doubt he will be asked this during his nomination hearing. In fact, we have already heard from Democratic senators who say that they plan to do so and that he should expect a full vetting, a full, fair vetting. In the end, I think Jeff Sessions is going to get nominated and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the new head of the Justice Department. But there are going to be a lot of questions around what he's said and what direction he's going to take it. I do think we have to point out as well, for all this talk about how Jeff Sessions, you know, might dismantle certain parts of the Justice Department around civil rights, it's going to be very difficult to do. There's no question about that and I think there's going to be an incredible amount of scrutiny on the Trump administration. So while the fears should certainly drive people to maybe move to action, the fact of the matter is, it is hard to put in place what a lot of these fears are thinking. 

(....)

COSTELLO [TO ACLU GUEST]: Now, Joanne, Jeff Sessions, a Senator who’s made controversial statements in the far distant past, it prevented him from becoming a federal judge under Ronald Reagan, do you think that he will carry on with this concern, like Loretta Lynch, because there's no reason to think he won’t because I’m sure he’s not supportive of hate crimes.

Tell the Truth 2016 NBDaily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Trump transition Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats CNN CNN Newsroom Video Government & Press Jeff Sessions Mark Preston Carol Costello Jackie Kucinich Gloria Borger Roland Martin Soledad O'Brien Donald Trump
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