Sessions to black police group: Trump remarks 'done in jest'

Sessions to black police group: Trump remarks 'done in jest'
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Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsCurtis wins Chaffetz's former Utah House seat Overnight Cybersecurity: What we learned from Carter Page's House Intel testimony | House to mark up foreign intel reform law | FBI can't access Texas shooter's phone | Sessions to testify at hearing amid Russia scrutiny FBI can’t unlock Texas shooter’s phone MORE told the leader of a black police group that President Trump was joking when he suggested to police officers last week that it was OK if they were rough with suspects, according to a report by CNN

Sessions said the Trump remarks were "done in jest,” Perry Tarrant, president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, said at a news conference Tuesday reported by CNN. 

Sessions nonetheless criticized the Trump comments, according to Tarrant, saying they "had the opportunity to impact or detract from" efforts by police to improve their relations with the communities they serve.

Tarrant’s comments followed a speech Sessions gave at the group’s training convention.

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Trump came under scrutiny for comments he made during a speech in Long Island last week about the MS-13 gang.

"When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddywagon, you just see them thrown in, rough, I said, ‘Please don't be too nice," the president said to the crowd of police officers.

“Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over?” Trump explained. “Like, don’t hit their head and they’ve just killed somebody. Don’t hit their head? I said, ‘You can take the hand away, OK?’”