Sessions takes tough questions from Justice Department interns

For more than 25 minutes in June, Attorney General Jeff Sessions took sometimes tough questions from interns. ABC News obtained video of the event through a Freedom of Information Act request.
24:58 | 12/06/17

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Transcript for Sessions takes tough questions from Justice Department interns
No my head. I thank you for your time hey my hands Charlie lesser crime rates are decreasing our law our case will be public policy. My question for you is our best interests socio Harvard law graduates. And it. Considering that's. This apartment recently revoked the title nine guidance for transgender students. And that Sheehan is LTT pride month but the administration has not recognized death. And here's what department's view is on the rights and protections that transgender individuals especially in housing employment. And public accommodations including restaurants. Well. We're gonna protect the civil alliance every. And that guy that's. Letter. At the effective Lawler was issued by the part of education patiently and we. Department of Education withdrew that. I think fundamentally on the title. Didn't require. So Rea. You can be sure that we will protect transgender and. All. People. In there civil rights. But that bathroom questions we're not this should. We do not concluded that the bathroom question has decided. The statute that was passed so it's up to the states and local governments through making those decisions every day. And is there and probably. United States government should. And these back and watch and vaccines each office and take. It his statistically. I'm still significantly more people than airline does homicides suicides. And deaths the accidents. A lot. Well. Use part pretty harsh policies fare airline. Anti lax and neutralize. Any injuries and he's. I'd like to know. Since guns kill people in airline. Why. That's. Apples and oranges question now it's my first and foremost but. The Second Amendment you aware that very. Guarantees the right to American Peter keep and bear arms and I attended to and that Second Amendment it's as valid as the first. And so that's my basic philosophical view. All. Look. There is this the marijuana harmless. And he's. I believe last year was the first year that. Automobile accidents that occurred. Possible up. Drugs. Now. Merrill want you know this. Oh in American medical's. Crystal clear he U glee that. OK. Fellow out. Doctor. Whatever your name is. So you can write today and I and save money thing. And to me so we need you abelow education. None not necessary for the Department of Justice crime here role. Oh in DC see what they all drugs are used to drive that message what this it is these drugs. I don't thing. America is going to be a better place if marijuana sold an area on grocery store and what happened. Use they even young people. I don't think that's that's. Health. People using them and really hammering tobacco. Which is long term health. Problem for people. Likewise we should be talking about some is now. Thank you guys yet. Good morning uncertain general I mean it's or eat I study political science out possible university. Hand. It's act in office for US attorney's. Com I was and inspiring to me who hopes to one day attack Eric's all citizens including. Kiki Kiki citizens. I am concerned about the message it sends without GE T keep me fat hygiene playing second. Neither the White House Noory this department has acknowledged right mom and I wanted to know if you are concerned. That the White House has chosen to proclaimed June as a great outdoors month. Four acknowledging a community. Individuals back in the rest warrant. You know the protection for a marker dedicated keys celebrating that progress made it and that progress to come. For these individuals. We are going to. I have right Pratt. Drew. In this very room I think next week probably days. And so that's perfectly appropriated. We will protect independence celebrate that. And protect the rights involved transgender persons. For example. I was seeing a letter. Expressing concern about seven transgender. Persons who had. Been killed. And there is a concern about itself. Personally directed. Civil rights division looking into those in see those cases to see if there was any uniform attacked. Aren't there exists today. Uniform. Hostility that was resulting. In these murders and the reviewed each one of those cases there were sent to me. And they have done that and I think it's possible that they're gonna reopened one and Arkansas and as a result of that so we're not gonna go. Persons in this country to be discriminated against our tactic anyway. Four that sexual orientation. Let's Sarah I'll give us back since the White House none of them. Saying anything specifically asked the department stats. I don't what the one else's I did not know what you tell me that's perfect. Thank you are competing voices out there for there affirmation. Good morning attorney didn't omens John Barton the disability rights section of the civil rights division and I'm from small town Tennessee. And I wanted to. Thank you for making it one of your priorities to tackle oh view it epidemic. And you coming from a small town where I see how it's affected the community in you know even some members of my own family. I wanted to know what you we're going to do about the role of pharmaceutical. Coal companies and even doctors who I think together are prescribing someone's going to the doctor with with a sore throat and they for Scott view fuel its. So I want to know if you were what you do is going to do anything about the role that pharmaceutical companies and doctors play. Thank you time as United States attorney. Group that meant every leap forward here and we talked about are prop one of the things we got into. For prescription drug problem go lot of work on. And I don't think this situation is changes I believe we prescribe two months. Doctors are prescribing to. More than a person might need that yet sixty maybe twenty that have been enough. Content will have to go back to get another prescription yes. We've got pharmaceutical companies pushing this doesn't make profit. And we've got illegal distribution sites is pharmacies. Out prosecuted. We found it to pharmacies in mobile Alabama power masses. Lee. You know laws unsolved. My district prosecuted to doctors. Sums up. National crime. Haynes senator and they were moving more open yours and you can imagine. Millions of dollars just refuse to doctors chipping it nationwide. So this is going to be something we focus on. A top of the DEA administrator Chuck Rosenberg. Several times about it. We we we met yesterday. Yesterday and we talked about. Notably in the god this is you Wear animal back. We can drive down on this issue we need doctors to get better informed. Many pharmacies and hospitals to be more careful with containing a soil of those drugs. We don't need young people are represented and a president of his class. Start out with a knee problem I gave him pain pills they got addicted almost ruined his future. Hall so these are the kind of things that pretty reveal an addiction. Is powerful. If you aren't powerful people could easily quit but often they just don't find it enabled. And it lays into impairment. DEA says 80%. Challenged him on this they stand by 80% of heroin addiction starts feel she often. Legal restrictions. So long it absolutely have to prior art to you hours. I was in New Hampshire with the DE Drug Enforcement Administration it 101000 kids in there. 88 to 101000. Fifteen mothers to have before they haven't lost them shop. Oh via our overdose death. So this is not a little matter we've never seen me they line. The deaths receding today. And a lot of star for prescription drugs and we need a national effort to focus on homeland and I'm going to give it a lot of my time personally. Thank you say question. Hello sir my name is sneak on third I'm a senior Arizona State working for the opposite tribal justice get. Hands I would like to thank you for your office's commitment to dealing would appeal Williams. So you're an epidemic which has proved particularly devastating in Indian Country. And my question is do you believe that the extension tribal court jurisdiction. Particularly with respect you drug related crime. Could prove successful in combating. That epidemic in Indian Country. In a model similar to that 2013 Paula. Extension. I think. I'm not sure. Exactly what you're referring communities paying me jurisdiction. But. Due to the murder non Indians tribal oh yeah overnight. So as serious question I posed. That portion own you know our bill. That. That day trial court's jurisdiction over non. Tribal members. As a serious constitutional rights because those courts ought don't operate. And not required to operate in perfect harmony harmony with the constitutional. Protections. That. Americans citizens have there saw him many indices saarc. Local police cannot nor tribal. Reza guys. Arrest people and do these things. A real significant things so. I was uneasy about this idea creating travel court's jurisdiction over none tribal members. Lot what I haven't learned in the course. My confirmation. Coming here. Is it we are not doing enough to protect tribal members from all kinds of criminal activities. Spousal abuse story. Sex and the use of child buddies on our own drug dealing and neck. We've we've talked since I've been here. Improving our response to the legitimate. Concerns. Trial along. Residents. They consider ninety. They're at the movements that are sessions an image. Student at Berkeley law. And standing here that you Hollande who cast dealer Michael Brown or any of these other folks who have fallen victim to excessive force. Currently. Fees our power for consent decrees is now under review but our office. This is by far our most effective way of holding off police departments accountable under section waffle waffle one. So my question is moving forward when will that become available option again we can we get back to work for the communities that we care. Welcome me with care Malcolm. We care about public site. And we are here care about him neighborhoods every now we're we're children can walk safely. In there. Communities. And feel thank you play outside. That there mothers and fathers don't have to drive them to the bus stop is here in New York. Is no longer. Is a partner there Friday that might be attacked way. At a bus stop. They are this yes. I didn't want one of these communities that matter. A movement projects missing mother and the people who we yards afraid of are not necessarily our neighbors. But the police well. That may be that he would work. That is not the view modified food and as the hottest movies has never been there Jones period. I hear. So we've got a situation which we need to do and fought crop. Crime in America. In cities at an air out and and traditional. Police activities like Baltimore. And Chicago are rights that serves. Particularly in poor night it's. And so we and that's the part. Are absolutely committed to maintaining. Civil rights for every empire. A police officer lights rise and we have federal charges that we can burn we're going to bring them and I say that every time however. Now the peace are in. He's in some ways. Response. To the push back. That police. For city use that they've been using for years community based policing. Broken when that is being out on the streets talking to people. Asking questions and and proper case is making progress for even minor crimes and that is proven. Scientifically. Accurate it is time. Through the humor and make neighborhoods side. And some of the consent victories and an attitude. Have undermined those policies that are being used in New York. While it successfully. Number other cities we want to have. Police in America. Operate with the highest thing professionalism. Respecting their community. Most police chief I know all. Sheets that they have been an educational programs. Respect people. And we did better yes. The conflict. Situations. It needs more playing police officers. So it doesn't get out of hand and so her. But the fact that. I police officer. Abuses its power are power. Over reacts and no harm some arm. Does not necessarily mean that the police department it's. Systematic oppressive or as nice as part of the community. It's part of making people's side and it's improvements city after city well done. Police programs that are out there. Meeting people on the streets protecting public safety. Helps every. After him up. Good afternoon my name's Camille he's an advocate the United States attorney's office for the District of Columbia. It the proposed federal budget passes the Department of Justice lose roughly 20% of its funding. I'm at the same time publicly expressed an heated up to date that 40%. I'm higher than. You may feel fine now we have he dominant 20% cut its three Jorge in that rightly. Three point 8%. Aren't ready get that infamous. I'm not quite scared and I won't London why incorrect. I'm nonetheless there 4% budget cut up for the department of justice and at the same time despite this funding cut. Content like the United States attorney's office for the District of Columbia and unite it losses across the country to increase. Prosecution and drove through it isn't so I'm wondering how our op. Attorneys offices across the country should reconcile a teak trees budget would increase less upper crust. Glad you actually worse. We are always less. We understand now that to the United States attorney announces report card on managing money here. We we think we can send out 300. All on the slots. From various savings. To create more prosecutors. When I became United States attorney. I've determined in more the last. And we did. We had a phrase are 23 years in the first years of the Reagan writes and we increased productivity. Everybody in this country needs to work every day. To him through whatever their productivity and one in every area there are. You can't count become complacent. We have a responsibility to the taxpayers. Two make them site as we possibly can't with a lace mind. And so I do not average act of Washington idea that if you cut funding. Cut product. I can't Paula OK yes. So what does do need more with less look like in practice for the 300 attorneys in my office. Well. Every day you can look for ways. These are effective in targeting new cases the defendants that most dangerous every day. You can see if you can't bring more cases that need to be brought that otherwise being planned for a lack of resources. In people who are motivated and committed and supported on tend to be more productive and that's what we're going on. How about there. You say at the end. Of this year prosecution when they up or down. I think that it no idea expected. Was last month. I'm not that look at into the year since it's okay eight minutes. He schedule here they here and we've got a long lines yet either laugh. When I figured that was in the or. I want you. It's not a very Jimmy eurobond this. I'll try to make it good morning mr. attorney general thank you so much for taking the times yeah morning. On my name's Peter you and I'm out of I think there your lawsuit that Harvard law school at currently working in this civil rights division and especially since action. My question is about piece of for profit prison facilities in the federal prison system. Last year it opposite the inspector general issued a report finding that private prisons for profit prison corporations actually cost more. And are less effective and are worse for public security and are crisper the CE of the human beings who live in prison facilities. Earlier this year you issued a memorandum that reversed. A policy it would eliminate the federal use. Private residence. And my question is why. Isaac the kinds some of these patents and corporations donated money to become campaign last year. Is it arson also because you have your staffers from the senate actually went to work for it. Geo Group which is the large prison corporation in America and does have any bearing on the integrity. And of moral authority of the criminal legal system they use on its that we all are invested in a. Well. No. That's not yours right I don't know in my staffers worked for the perhaps I have. I'm where if they work for private prison. I came here in my staff. Has made that talk with the presence is about them out firm. All. In. The prison system believe that private prisons do play a role. You have overstated. Dramatically. That finding out the report. You should go back and read it. Before you make such statements. That day that there are possibilities. Private prisons being less expensive. And music pop star put together by. Our contract if they were ardent needs they meet those standards. Obvious. Private prison in California recently. People here product that prison people and they people there to her bread is. So I think it has a role I think it's healthy. That we have competition within the system. Overwhelmingly. The federal prison system is government run. But there are some contracts. There you can close those bruises easier. You know him. The they have the ability. And exit their personnel matter. So I think you'll find that there is a role for private prisons in America. I don't think it means it that are less more experience. And every case these. There romance. And welcome throw state. All federal government. A it will compete very well. And all we did resign. Take I'll leave that option on the table without mandating. Change. Eight. That guy. Normal descent OK not tacky Ferraro. Being here. I hope truly you will enjoy your. In the Department of Justice he's right department indeed and I hope that you will. So bright and affirm. A great American room a law that we've been so. I'm fortunate to have mercy. In the next year there would be maintain it and see what week it is friends network thank you all round.

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

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