Sessions says he was 'perhaps' wrong to repeat 'lock her up' chant with high school students

  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday said “perhaps” he should have stopped to remind high school students about due process as they chanted “lock her up” at a leadership summit.
  • “I perhaps should have taken a moment to advise them that … you’re presumed innocent until cases are made,” Sessions said.
  • “Lock her up” was a chant routinely heard during the 2016 presidential election in reference to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday said “perhaps” he should have stopped to remind high school students about due process earlier this week as they chanted “lock her up” at a leadership summit for young people hosted by a conservative group.

Sessions stopped short of apologizing but acknowledged he could have handled the situation better.

“Well, I met with a group of enthusiastic high-school students, and they enthusiastically broke into that chant,” Sessions told reporters. “I perhaps should have taken a moment to advise them that … you’re presumed innocent until cases are made.”

As Sessions spoke at the high school leadership summit on Tuesday, he told the audience universities are “coddling” students too much these days.

“After the 2016 election, for example, they held a ‘cry-in’ at Cornell. I hope they had plenty of tissues for ’em to cry on,” the attorney general said at the time.

He then told the students he could tell they were different and wouldn’t need the same type of treatment, which is when they began chanting “lock her up.” Sessions laughed and briefly joined in.

“Lock her up” was routinely heard during the 2016 presidential election in reference to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s controversial use of a private email server. Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump often encouraged his supporters as they chanted it at rallies along the campaign trail.

The FBI ultimately concluded Clinton’s use of a private email server was irresponsible, but not criminal, and did not pursue charges.

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.