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Monday 23 April 2018

Men in KKK costumes disrupt confirmation hearing of new US attorney general

The held up signs saying 'Go Jeffie Boy' and 'KKK'

Protesters wearing white sheets shout at Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) as he arrives for his confirmation hearing to be the U.S. attorney general Senate Judiciary Committee (Getty Images)
Protesters wearing white sheets shout at Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) as he arrives for his confirmation hearing to be the U.S. attorney general Senate Judiciary Committee (Getty Images)
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-AL, makes his opening statement during the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing to be Attorney General of the United States (Getty)
A protester shouts, "No Trump, No KKK, No facist USA" as he is hauled out of the Senate Judiciary Committee's confirmation hearing for Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to be the next U.S. Attorney General (Getty)
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-AL, makes his opening statement during the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing to be Attorney General of the United States, on January 10, 2017, in Washington, DC (Getty Images)
CodePink activists, including co-founder Medea Benjamin, right, hold up signs against Attorney General-designate, Sen. Jeff Sessions (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Protesters disrupted Sen Jeff Sessions's confirmation hearing for attorney general, including two men wearing Ku Klux Klan costumes and a woman wearing a pink crown.

The conservative Alabama senator, who is Donald Trump's pick for the nation's top law enforcement official, faces concerns over how committed he would be to civil rights.

The disruptions occurred during the morning session of his hearing.

As Capitol Police took the men wearing white hoods and sheets out of the Senate hearing room, they yelled, "you can't arrest me, I am white" and "white people own this government".

They held up hand signs saying, "Go Jeffie Boy" and "KKK".

Also removed was at least one protester from the liberal group Code Pink, who held a sign that said "Support civil rights, stop Sessions".

Wearing a pink crown modelled on the Statue of Liberty, she shouted: "His voting record is evil."

Civil liberties advocates have expressed concerns about Mr Sessions's voting record and his appearances before groups that espouse harsh views on Muslims and immigrants.

The Alabama Republican was rejected for a federal judgeship by the Senate Judiciary Committee 30 years ago amid accusations of racial insensitivity.

Seeking to address those concerns, Mr Sessions said in a prepared opening statement that he "understands the history of civil rights and the horrendous impact that relentless and systemic discrimination and the denial of voting rights has had on our African-American brothers and sisters".

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