Attorney General Jeff Sessions laughed at a “Lock Her Up” chant and repeated the words during a speech Tuesday at a high school leadership summit.
Sessions was speaking at a gathering organized by Turning Point USA, a nonprofit that promotes conservative ideas on college campuses when student members of the audience interrupted him with cries of “Lock Her Up.”
The chant refers to Hillary Clinton, President Donald Trump’s opponent in the 2016 presidential election. It was a staple of Trump campaign rallies as the FBI investigated Clinton’s use of a private email server and remains prevalent at some Trump events.
Sessions, the country’s chief law enforcement officer, chuckled at the chant as it broke out, repeated the words one time and noted how he had heard that same call during the campaign.
The interaction came as Sessions lamented that college campuses were “coddling” students by encouraging them to shield themselves from, rather than engage with, speech or points of view they disagree with. That is, he said, “the exact opposite of what we expect of our universities in this country.”
“Rather than molding a generation of mature, well-informed adults, some schools are doing everything they can to create a generation of sanctimonious, sensitive, supercilious snowflakes,” Sessions said to laughter and applause. “We’re not going to have it.”
The attorney general said that after the 2016 presidential election, students at some campuses held “cry-ins,” were encouraged to draw their feelings or were given Play-Doh, coloring books and therapy dogs.
“I can tell this group isn’t going to have to have Play-Doh when you get attacked in college,” Sessions said. “When you get involved in a debate, you’re going to stand up and defend yourselves and the values that you believe in.”
“I like this bunch — I got to tell you, you’re not going to be backing down. Go get ’em, go get ’em” he added.
Seconds later, the “Lock Her Up” chants broke out.
Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores declined to comment on the interaction.