Attorney General Jeff Sessions briefly joined a “Lock her Up!” chant at a high school leadership summit in Washington on Tuesday. Sessions was in attendance to deliver a speech to the student body. The summit was part of Turning Point USA’s High School Leadership Summit at George Washington University.
In his prepared speech, Sessions criticized universities for their handling of students, claiming they are “coddling our young people.” He added that after the 2016 election, “They had therapy dogs at the University of Kansas. Play-Doh and coloring books at the University of Michigan for heaven’s sakes.”
He then told the crowd, “Well I can tell this group isn’t going to have Play-Doh when you get attacked in college and you get involved in a debate.”
Sessions then told the audience, “I like this bunch, I gotta tell ya, you’re not going to be backing down. Go get ’em! Go get em’!” The high school students responded by yelling, “Lock her up!” — a frequent chant at Trump political rallies during the 2016 campaign.
The chant started in response to an FBI investigation about Hillary Clinton’s email servers. Ultimately, the FBI recommended that no charges be filed against the then-democratic candidate. Still, Trump and his followers believe she should have been prosecuted.
Jeff Sessions responded to the chant Tuesday by laughing and repeating the chant. He attempted to move on, saying, “I heard that a long time over the last campaign.”
Sessions was a surrogate for Trump in the 2016 election. He may have heard the chant multiple times, but reportedly never repeated it on the campaign trail.
During his confirmation hearing last year, Sessions was asked if he said “Lock her up” during the campaign. He responded, “No I did not. I don’t think. I heard it in rallies and so forth, sometimes I think humorously done.”
While Sessions may have considered the chant mere humor, Trump was serious when he egged the crowd on. He told Clinton during the second presidential debate that, if he were president “you’d be in jail.” The president added at the time that he would have his attorney general appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton if he won.