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Sen. Warren Calls On Trump To Dump AG Pick Jeff Sessions

Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks at a campaign rally for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire in October. (Andrew Harnik/AP)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks at a campaign rally for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire in October. (Andrew Harnik/AP)
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Sen. Elizabeth Warren says "the early signs are bad for where we’re headed" when President-elect Donald Trump takes office.

Warren blasted Trump Friday for his latest appointment -- Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as U.S. attorney general.

Sessions was previously denied a federal judgeship due to reports of racist comments.

Speaking to 450 women at the New England Women's Policy Conference at UMass Boston, Warren said Sessions' nomination is an issue because he will oversee the Department of Justice's civil rights division and have a hand in immigration enforcement.

"There can be no compromise with racism, there can be no negotiation with bigotry," Warren told the crowd.

Warren urged Trump change his nomination.

"I strongly urge Donald Trump to withdraw any consideration of Sen. Sessions," Warren told reporters after her speech. "But if Donald Trump fails to do that then there will be a moral question in the United States Senate and that is: Can the Republicans step up and say no to Jeff Sessions?"

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey also weighed in on Sessions' appointment Friday, saying his nomination "deeply concerns me."

"His past comments — particularly around race — are cause for serious alarm and were reason enough for the Senate to deny him a judicial appointment under President Reagan," Healey said in a statement. "If you are ‘OK’ with the Ku Klux Klan, you shouldn't run the Justice Department. I hope this pick is rejected and leaders make clear he is unacceptable in such a critical role on behalf of the people."

In her UMass Boston speech, Warren also criticized Trump's pick of former Breitbart News executive Steve Bannon as chief strategist and senior counselor to the president, and reiterated her criticism that Trump's transition team is full of lobbyists and industry insiders.

Warren also indicated to the crowd that it was time for Democrats to move forward from the election — but continue fighting for certain policies.

"The time for whimpering, the time for crying is over. It is time to fight back," Warren said. She added that Democrats should work to bring economic opportunities to all Americans and continue to push for things like higher minimum wage, equal pay for women and paid family leave.

When asked if Democratic senators should fight Trump when he is in office or seek common ground, Warren said: "When we're talking about issues like racism, no compromise ever. That's how I feel about it."

Warren said if Trump does not withdraw Sessions' nomination, she hopes the Senate will reject it — just like a different Republican Senate rejected his federal judgeship nomination 30 years ago.

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Zeninjor Enwemeka Twitter Reporter
Zeninjor Enwemeka is a reporter who covers business, tech and culture as part of WBUR's Bostonomix team, which focuses on the innovation economy.

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