Attorney General Jeff Sessions was on Capitol Hill Tuesday, spending his day being alternately fluffed and grilled by the House Judiciary Committee’s Republican and Democratic members, respectively.
During his testimony, Congresswoman Karen Bass, a California Democrat, pressed Sessions about a recent FBI report that described “Black Identity Extremists” as a possible terrorist threat to the United States and domestic law enforcement agencies.
Ignore, for the moment, that the term “Black Identity Extremists” seems to have been invented by the FBI for that report, along with the fact that the FBI itself has a well-documented proclivity for fomenting discord in black communities. Instead, spend a minute with Sessions’ response to Bass when she asked if he could think of any equivalent white movements.
“Are you aware of white organizations that do this?” Bass asked. “Given that white supremacy is well documented, well researched movements such as the neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, etc—are they ‘White Identity Extremists?’”
Sessions, who once joked he thought the KKK was “OK until I learned they smoked pot” answered simply: “I didn’t follow that question.”
So Bass generously offered Sessions a rope to help climb out of his racist hole.
“Is there a term or a report on ‘White Identity Extremists?’” She continued. “You mentioned that you were familiar with black people who identified with their racial identity.”
“Yes...” Sessions stammered, a smile creeping onto his face. “But it’s not coming to me at this moment.”
Eventually, Sessions assured Bass that there are, in fact, white supremacist movements the FBI has “for sure” identified, but he wasn’t aware of any comparable reports written about the threat they pose to police. Bass went on to cite the anti-government, predominantly white sovereign citizens movement—which the FBI has identified as a major domestic terror threat that’s also been called America’s top group of cop killers—which seemed to ring some distant bell with attorney general.
Then, when asked to name a black group that’s currently targeting police officers with violence, Sessions dodged. When later pressed about whether he considers Black Lives Matter to be a “Black Identity Extremist” group, Sessions said he wasn’t able to comment but said, “I have not so declared it.”
Bass ended her speaking time by demanding to know what Sessions would do about to address the FBI’s report, which she characterized as outdated and inaccurate.
After several beats of silence, Sessions lamely responded that he would look into it, saying, “I actually would be interested to read it.”