Hawaii's Democratic senators criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions Thursday over remarks he made on a radio show about the federal judge who halted President Trump's revised travel ban last month.
The judge, Derrick Watson, issued an order blocking the administration's ban on new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries and temporarily halting the U.S. refugee program.. The Justice Department is appealing the order.
"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," Sessions said Tuesday in an interview with radio host Mark Levin.
Sens. Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz slammed Sessions' remarks in Twitter posts.
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
Hawaii was built on the strength of diversity & immigrant experiences- including my own. Jeff Sessions’ comments are ignorant & dangerous— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) April 20, 2017
Mr. Attorney General: You voted for that judge. And that island is called Oahu. It's my home. Have some respect. https://t.co/sW9z3vqBqG— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) April 20, 2017
When asked about the comment on Fox News' "The First 100 Days," Sessions said Hawaii was "a beautiful island" before adding, "We’ve got about 800 federal judges. One, protected perhaps by the 9th Circuit [Court of Appeals] has stopped an executive order by the President of the United States that I believe is constitutional and that I believe is explicitly approved by statutory law, so the process will go forward [and] appeals will be held."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.