Day 1 of Sen. Sessions Confirmation Hearing Comes to a Close

ABC News' Arlette Saenz recaps Senator Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearing with comment from Sen. Sessions and camp.
10:42 | 01/11/17

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Transcript for Day 1 of Sen. Sessions Confirmation Hearing Comes to a Close
I'm ABC's are let signs were outside the Senate Judiciary Committee room where just now he senate confirmation hearing for senator Jeff Sessions Donald Trump's pick for attorney general. Has just concluded. This started at about 9:30 this morning it's now at 8 o'clock soon about ten and a half hours of questioning with a few breaks in between. And we should be seen senator sessions walking out. Shortly as you can see for from our our video Charest announced there are several people who are still inside the hearing room people talking. Likely congratulating the senator. The town team feels that they have done a good job. Gary. So yes senator sessions walking out right now with his wife. Senator howdy. Did you thank you. Chatting. Them up. So after about ten and a half hours and testimony before the committee senator sessions has just wrapped up this is the big day different there's actually two days. Of hearings that the Senate Judiciary Committee. We'll be here holdings to today senator sessions was testifying tomorrow there's going to these two separate panels. Of witnesses the first round panels. Will feature people who we'll have to undergo questioning and then the second hour panels in the afternoon is is what really aware of people will be. Closely watching we're gonna see something that's unprecedented. For the first time some of a senator's colleagues will be testifying against them in a confirmation hearing we're going to see testimony from senator Cory Booker congressman John Lewis a civil rights icon and congressman Cedric Richmond ahead of the Congressional Black Caucus. They are all opposed to John senator sessions nomination as attorney general and they'll be testifying against him tomorrow. Now as will kind of walked back over here it. It's what. Little less hectic right now that it was earlier in the morning everyone's kind of cleared out as UN have been watching throughout the day we have talked to various people on both sides. Of the argument we have those people who. Are opposing. Sent senator sessions we talked to a lot and civil rights leaders on that issue we also talked to several. Supporters who think that's some of the charges against senator sessions have been a bit. Overblown throughout the confirmation hearing it really touched on some theory heated topics. Early on the day it started off the takings under siege were issues concerning Greece as well as civil rights back in the 1980s. When senator sessions was up four where he federal judgeship. He actually I was facing charges of Reese's and in making racially insensitive comments. And and he addressed those right away at the beginning of the hearing. We also heard him talk about immigration we heard him talk about. Welcome mean Muslim as immigrants to the US as well as a Muslim registry. Senator pat Leahy also asked him about Donald trumps controversial comments. That you sign that Access Hollywood tape. Tough talking about groping women he asked the senator about that the senator sent he didn't agree with those comments so I actually going to bring in us as spokesperson for. The if senators. Artists have since I wasn't there is Flores and you kind of then in a room around the corner throughout the hearing how do you guys feel it all lines. It couldn't have gone battered you know be done es murder boards the senator prepared so diligently for this he did prepare and a number of topics. But. This when even better than I think we we anticipated I thought it. He handled so many of the questions. Well in terms of explaining his vision for the department justice that he would uphold the law enforce laws even if he disagreed with them. And I think that the Democrats on the committee have a lot to think about now and while that judiciary committees known for being incredibly partisan. The full body particularly those Democrats up and when he eighteen and states that trump one. I think it will could've been persuaded by. By what senator sessions had to say today but regardless the American people got introduced him. And I think this caricature that we sob in the previous few weeks I'd left wing groups fund raising not that this. That's not the American people's not today they saw someone reading attorney general for all Americans and he talks about some of that adhering preparations how much -- did he go through do you guys staged mock hearings bring with ask these questions. It's pretty intense process you have a teen who puts together. Policy at them and and you haven't seen Bill Gross and as senators why it. Without going into any details there link thing. And add as you saw today senator sessions hasn't deer so he lasted oss most of the time they work question let's keep going. And you see why that's so important because you don't get a lot of breaks any week at twenty minutes for lunch. And dad bathroom breaks are far and few between you don't drink too much water there was. One issue where we saw some daylight between him and Donald Trump palace when he was asked about. Muslim immigrants coming to the US a during the campaign Donald Trump sad I that he wanted to temporary ban on that. As I was speaking to you I keys are chronicles our father earlier today heat raise the issue he didn't know. Which sessions position was actually. The one thinks he's embracing what he has had before oriented it was here today saying that he doesn't agree that it. People should be banned from entering the country on the road on religion how how will senator sessions wears navy has opinions now. With what Donald Trump as has sent about the past. Goucher I think it's important to lay out what senator sessions did answered that question. Which days. No we have plenty of Muslim Americans in this country who contribute every single day. Ask your content Sunday at and gave the ultimate sacrifice that's not the issue the issue is that there are people. Who hate America and want to kill Americans on our soil and a bride. Who claim that that is stemming from a religious belief within a radical Islamic extremists and niceness that is. Radical Islam. And so yes we need to make sure that refugees trying to come to this country are vetted. And we need to speak pay special attention to conflict areas that people are trying to come in from. Those two are not mutually exclusive whatsoever. And I think that's that tension that people have trouble distinguishing between that that is what he was trying to describe today and I think he did a nice job laying out. It is harder in aids. 32 interview on the stump with lots of reporters around so why I'm glad that he got the chance to explain that more full leads in what his position is that what it will be as attorney general. So tomorrow. Are going to see an unprecedented moment when we have three of his colleagues testifying. Against porn have senator Cory Booker congressman John Lewis and congressman center Richmond what do you guys think about the fact that they're gonna come out. And indeed this went sentence at a historians office as it has ever been done before have a senator testifying against senator. Well there's a few things to know one there's two panels are in the first panel will have five witnesses testifying. On behalf. Senator sessions for his confirmation that includes attorney general Mukasey it includes deputy attorney general Larry Thompson is actually known senator sessions for a long time they have a great history together. And I think you'll be a wonderful character witness. On behalf of senator sessions. On that second panel. Those slot actually get to take questions they'll be reading statements you have three people like Cory Booker we're gonna speak out against senator sessions despite. Plenty of nice things may settle long away and and work they've done together but relatively short period of time to visit a three people who don't know the senator very well. Basing their opinions off of new reports they've read that you are I couldn't read. On the other handwritten have three other people testifying African American leaders. Who are going to say that they've worked with senator sessions they know his character they know his record over decades. And that they highly recommend and recommend. Him for upholding the laws attorney general so I do you think the American people are gonna see quite a contrast I've read this I heard this allegedly this vs. I know this man and missed me and make agreed to turn into Soviet. Ten and a half hours almost of questioning today by the panels tomorrow and some what is next in the confirmation process for those who don't aren't familiar with the women prisoners. Behind the scenes you're gonna get supplemental questions from the senators that senator sessions will answer. Probably not it'll probably answer those questions will probably come from the senators they think up other follow up questions supplemental as Olympic common. And then the Judiciary Committee will vote. There is a huge assumption at this point based on how today went that he will be voted out of the Judiciary Committee positively. And then it will go to the floor of the senate where. Purity of the votes going into this senator Joseph mansion. West Virginians a Democratic Party committed to voting for senator sessions as well. And I think after today's. An amazing performance by senator sessions you're gonna see more Democrats having to grapple with this idea of going back to their constituents. Ad and saying no I'm not voting for this guy because the Democrats told me not CO. Adding that's going to be a tough sell so it'll go to the awful floor of the senate here in a couple weeks and probably after inauguration. Look. Anti semite Stafford joining us and I'm sure we'll see you around here tomorrow and student. So again this it's confirmation hearing for senator Jeff Sessions Donald Trump's pick for attorney general has just wrapped up this wasn't the only confirmation hearing we had today we actually had another one for general John Kelly Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Department of Homeland Security he testified this afternoon tomorrow we're gonna have another senate hearing so as we discussed. Will have the second set of panel will actually two panels tomorrow for the second day of hearings relating to senator sessions will also be seen who probably one of the most highly anticipated confirmation hearings. And this year is going to be Rex Tillerson Donald Trump's picked to be secretary of state he'll have a full day of testimony tomorrow we'll also have a hearing for its and Elaine Chao who is the nominee for the secretary of transportation. And and then later this week Lawson had a Mike Mike Pompeo at the CIA. Take his his hearing and there'll be more coming up in the coming weeks so stay tuned again tomorrow acted both abcnews.com. And our FaceBook pages were we will have blanket coverage across the capital. All of these confirmation hearings and he will bring you the latest had to do it thanks for watching.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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