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Sessions decries "fragile egos" on college campuses, defends Trump on NFL

Attorney General Jeff Sessions plans to blast PC culture at a university speech Tuesday

Empty seats pockmarked the Georgetown University auditorium where U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke Tuesday about free speech on college campuses, but a hundred students protesting outside the venue said they were denied entry.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, left, spoke about free speech and ideological bubbles at Georgetown Law on Tuesday.

SESSIONS: Absolutely not. The President of the United States has free speech.

"The university is about the search for truth, not the imposition of truth by a government censor", he said.

In the statement, the professors noted Trump's call for NFL players who protest during the national anthem to be fired, and they contrasted his labeling these protesters "sons of bitches" with his previous comments that some participants in a white supremacist rally were "very fine people".

They have all kinds of ways to express their own opinions, but I think every American, no matter what their views on the issues, should stand for America, should salute the flag.

The Attorney General's talk touched on the legal history of free speech in America, referring often to the civil rights movement, which - it could be argued - triumphed precisely because contentious speech was protected by law. He then added, "it's not a contradiction".

Others backed Sessions, citing protests of conservative speakers on college campuses.

Blauser explained to Mic that, while Sessions' policies were a "huge contributing factor" in students' decision to protest, he emphasized that students were generally not outraged that the attorney general would be speaking at the university - that is, until they learned they would not have the opportunity to debate him on his "horrendous policies and history". "We will enforce federal law, defend free speech, and protect students' free expression from whatever end of the political spectrum it may come".

LUCAS: He said the Justice Department will file a brief in a college free-speech case this week.

Some of the roughly 100 protesters who gathered outside Georgetown's law school wore duct tape over their mouths. Sessions warns that our culture is increasingly shutting down free speech and berating those who actually let it happen.

They also took issue with the Justice Department's prosecution of Desiree Fairooz, a member of the anti-war group Code Pink, who was arrested and later tried for laughing during Sessions' confirmation hearing. "We need open robust debate on college campuses".

Sessions recalled a Middlebury College case in Vermont where student protesters physically assaulted debaters at a campus event, including an outside speaker and a professor. "We hope in the future that AG Sessions will be fearless enough to engage in the robust debate that he claims to value". But organizers canceled the week's events. Trump's feud has sparked a major debate about patriotism and First Amendment rights, and Sessions said today that there ought to be an official requirement for people to stand when the Anthem plays.

Sessions also had a message on free speech for the protesters who were chanting outside the room. Given limited capacity, she said, the school's policy has held that the hosting organization determines the guest list.