Jeff Sessions called a black official a “n*gger,” then lied about it to the Senate, The Guardian reports.
The incident allegedly took place in 1981. Sessions was talking about the first black man to be elected as a county commissioner in Mobile. Sessions was a Republican official and federal prosecutor at the time.
When asked about it by then-senator Joe Biden during hearings for a failed nominated by Ronald Reagan for a federal judgeship, Sessions denied it, then challenged the timeline.
“It is suggested that you stated to Mr. Wiley (another Democratic county commissioner) at the conclusion of a particularly contentious hearing back in 1981, ‘Do not worry,’ or ‘do not be too happy’ – he could not remember the precise phrase – ‘Jon,’ meaning Archer, ‘will be watching you and the n*gger,’” said Biden.
“Senator, I did not,” he said. “That is an absolute false statement.”
“My point is there was not a black county commissioner at that time. The black was only elected later.”
Sessions was able to restrain himself during that hearing, but was wrong.
Douglas Wicks had become the first black person elected to one of Mobile’s three county commission seats a year before the hearing.
Wicks said he knew about what Sessions had called him.
“Sessions wasn’t the only one,” said Wicks. “It was commonplace at the time. You had a very racist atmosphere.”
(image via YouTube screengrab)