Attorney General Jeff Sessions went to a place he probably shouldn’t have gone, and after he received an overflowing bucket-load of clap back for it, he’s already trying to make it better.
On Friday, Sessions issued a letter to nine jurisdictions. He warned that any refusal to cooperate with (or hindering of) federal immigration officials would result in the loss of federal grant money. That wasn’t ground-breaking news to many of these cities, as the removal of grants has been mentioned by President Trump and Sessions in the past. What did upset New York City, however, was one line that has everyone noticed, from Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough to New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, who demanded an apology from the Attorney General, according to the New York Post:
“New York continues to see gang murder after gang murder, the predictable consequence of the city’s ‘soft on crime’ stance.”
As you might have expected, Mayor de Blasio was not pleased with Sessions referring to his city or its police department as “soft,” and he let it be known that the falling crime rate in New York speaks for itself:
“We did not become the safest big city in America by being … soft on crime … This is an insult. Look our police officers in the eye and tell them you believe they are soft on crime.”
Scarborough weighed in on the topic during his Monday morning show, saying Sessions should apologize. He wondered aloud if the new Attorney General has any real idea of what is going on in America’s biggest city:
“He needs to apologize to the NYPD rank and file. Has he ever been to New York City? I’m just curious. You don’t talk about the NYPD that way … it makes me mad.”
While Sessions hasn’t taken the step of apologizing for his “soft” comments just yet, he’s already back peddling away from them at a rate that could get him drafted as a first-round cornerback in this week’s NFL Draft. Speaking with ABC News, Sessions was suddenly in the mood to shower the NYPD with glowing praise:
“For four decades, New York has been a fabulous city for law enforcement,” Sessions told ABC’s “This Week.” “They have developed some of the best techniques ever. They are so far ahead of many other cities. I think we all should study the tactics that have been developed.”
If all the backtracking doesn’t make everyone forgive Sessions for this comments about the NYPD, he could always just say he was joking. That tactic didn’t work for Sessions last week when he defended how he referred to Hawaii as being “an island in the Pacific,” but maybe it will take here.