Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Friday that he would not want to phrase differently comments he made about a Hawaii-based federal judge who placed an injunction on President Donald Trump's travel ban.
"I don't know that I said anything I'd want to phrase differently," Sessions told CNN's Kate Bolduan on "At This Hour" program. "We're going to defend the president's order. We believe it's constitutional. We believe there's specific statutory authority for everything in that order.
"I wasn't criticizing the judge or the island. I think it's a fabulous place and had a granddaughter born there," he added.
During an interview with Mark Levin that aired Wednesday, Sessions criticized the Hawaii judge for placing the injunction, saying, "I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and Constitutional power."
Critics said his comment showed a lack of respect for Hawaii. Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono responded in a tweet:
Doug Chin, Hawaii's attorney general, issued a statement Thursday, in which he noted that Hawaii's federal courts "are co-equal partners with Congress and the President."
"It is disappointing AG Sessions does not acknowledge that," Chin added.
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