Jeff Sessions’ Secret Speech to the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Biggest Christian-Right Group You’ve Never Heard Of

By Jay Michaelson

The Justice Department has so far declined to release the transcript of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ secret speech Tuesday night to the Alliance Defending Freedom, or ADF, but Sessions has already drawn criticism for speaking to the organization, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has deemed an “anti-LGBT hate group.”

But the ADF is no fringe hate group—it is something much worse, a $35 million organization with a global footprint. It has enormous influence within the TrumpPence inner circle. And together with Family Research Council, the Heritage Foundation, and the National Organization for Marriage, the ADF is leading the movement to redefine “religious liberty” as including the right to discriminate against other people.

Turn over any rock on that path, and you’ll find the ADF crawling there. The repeal of Houston’s equal rights ordinance, successfully branded as a “bathroom bill.” Hobby Lobby.  Religious Freedom Restoration Acts around the country. All of these efforts, and many more like them, were led by individuals with ties to ADF.

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18 COMMENTS

  1. Jeff Beauregard “Son of Traitors” Sessions, even though he has been said to resemble a harmless Keebler elf, is a racist asshole of the worst kind – one of those regressionist Southerners who has apparently inherited a mule-headed refusal to accept the results of the Civil War and the fact that their ancestors weren’t “patriots” or “heroes” – they were traitors who seceded from the United States in order to preserve their social and economic lifestyle, built on the backs of slaves. They weren’t valorous “rebels” – they were losers who got their human-trafficking asses handed to them. They call it the “War of Northern Aggression”, even though they fired the first shots.

    Expanding their hatred from black people to other groups like LGBTQ people, Muslims, Hispanics – and, of course, women – they use religion to justify new avenues of bigotry, hatred, and oppression, just as they used the Bible to justify slavery. The words “heritage”, “liberty”, “family” and “Defense” in their organizational names are dead giveaways that they’re a Christian hate group dedicated to preserving their religious power and rights by denying any rights at all to others.

    No one like Sessions should ever be allowed to ascend to any position of political power, any more than a Nazi sympathizer would ever be allowed to take the governmental reins in Germany.

  2. No one like Sessions should ever be allowed to ascend to any position of political power…

    Well said, Sue Blue; but as you know, what “should” be or “should not” be is not what IS; Sessions IS serving in government. And all of Trump’s appointees and the Republicans as a whole, all of whom want to deregulate and privatize, are all serving in government; they are all traitors, if you ask me: un American, liars, free market fundamentalists, consummate liars, enemies of the social state, fascists, domestic terrorists.

    One Republican – forgot his name – spoke for all or most of his fellow Republicans recently when he said that “the money that is taken to fund medicaid and Planned Parenthood should be used to build the wall.”

    I saw Chris Cuomo on CNN interview Trump’s senior adviser Ms. Conway the other night. Appalling. All she could do is ask him why they cover Russia all the time and what they are always attacking the president. I have met people like that; they can’t own anything, play the victim card, and turn reality on its head. That’s what psychopaths do – all the time. A professional liar, a despicable person. Huckabee Sanders, another sicko, said, at the last press conference, that “Obamacare” is doomed and said that the Democrats are to blame for that “disaster.”

    Nefarious, villainous people. They are all cut from the same cloth. Trump is a very dangerous man, as is the alt-right which is now on the warpath. Sessions! Why Sessions? A dyed-in-the-wool bigot. SNL and Samantha Bee can ridicule all they want; meanwhile Bannon and Miller and their co-conspirators will continue to denigrate the press, create voter suppression under false pretenses, lie, obfuscate, spread their vile propaganda, destroy oversight and accountability – as all autocrats do, and set about to destroy the social state, our safety nets, our health system, our system of public education, our regulations, our economy, our democracy.

    But television will lull us all into thinking that everything is alright. Humans, as Einstein said, are passive, for the most part. All too true.

    Do you know who is serving on the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit? Someone named John K. Bush, a conspiracy theorist (racist) who, in spite of being hammered by Warren and Franken about blog posts about birther theories, was just nominated. (You can see him being interrogated on YouTube.) Should he be a federal judge? No he shouldn’t. But he is.

  3. And this new guy Anthony what’s his face (another con artist and fascist), the new communications guy from Goldman Sachs, is very slick, the way he speaks; he is a very smooth operator, people will like him and thus believe him; a very dangerous man too.

    It is entirely reasonable to be depressed and anxious at this point.

  4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40665891

    US President Donald Trump has said he would never have appointed Jeff Sessions if he had known the attorney general was going to recuse himself from leading a Russia investigation.

    Mr Trump told the New York Times the actions of Mr Sessions had been “very unfair to the president”.

    Mr Sessions recused himself after admitting meeting Russia’s ambassador.

    He said on Thursday he would not resign and he would continue running the Justice Department effectively.

    I suppose it is a risk in choosing to appoint biased stooges as investigators to manage a cover-up, and then discovering that when fingered, they declare an interest to save their own hides, and hand the job over to someone who actually investigates!

    Anyway, Trump’s bunch are showing the signs of petty in-fighting just like his much admired Farage’s UK clown squad, who are cut from the same cloth!

    I see Spicer has now come unstuck!
    Next skittle please!

  5. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40690501

    White House press secretary Sean Spicer has moved to minimise talk of divisions within the Trump administration after announcing his resignation.

    Mr Spicer is reportedly stepping down because he is unhappy with President Donald Trump’s appointment of a new communications director.

    But he told Fox News he had “no regrets” about his six-month stint.

    Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci has been picked for the role that Mr Spicer had partially filled.

    President Trump tweeted: “Sean Spicer is a wonderful person who took tremendous abuse from the Fake News Media – but his future is bright!”

    The New York Times reported that Mr Spicer had “vehemently” disagreed with the appointment of Mr Scaramucci, which he believed to be a “major mistake”.

    Telling Trump he is making mistakes! – A definite no! no! for presidentially appointed sycophant “advisors”!

    Mr Spicer’s often chaotic press briefings over the past six months were a cable news hit, but in recent weeks he had withdrawn from appearances in front of the camera.

    What does Scaramucci say?

    In an assured debut, he attended Friday afternoon’s news conference to announce that Sarah Huckabee Sanders, formerly Mr Spicer’s deputy, would step into his shoes.

    “I love the president and it’s an honour to be here,” Mr Scaramucci said, adding: “He is genuinely a wonderful human being.”

    Ah!! A TRRrroooo sycophant and obvious Trump choice!

    Mr Scaramucci, who has no previous experience in communications roles, paid tribute to Mr Spicer as “a true American patriot” and “incredibly gracious”.

    “I hope he goes on to make a tremendous amount of money,” he added.

    Yep! Money-grabbing is a clear indication of a “a true Republican American patriot”!

    It’s good to see that Trump’s anti-corruption SWAMP DRAINING PROJECT is going so well, although I must admit I have not heard his flock of cheerleaders chanting those words lately!! 🙂

  6. These “US public interest disclosure leaks”, are really, really, really, spoiling Trump’s cover-up, irritating poor diddums, and undermining the “Trumpie empire loyalty first”, policy!!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40692709

    US President Donald Trump has attacked “illegal leaks” following reports his attorney general discussed campaign-related matters with a Russian envoy.

    The Washington Post gave an account of meetings Attorney General Jeff Sessions held with the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak.

    Mr Sessions has previously denied discussing the election campaign.

    US authorities are investigating possible collusion between Russia and the Trump team.

    The intelligence services believe Russia meddled in the vote to help Mr Trump win. Russia denies this, and Mr Trump says there was no collusion.

    The Post’s report quoted current and former US officials who cited intelligence intercepts of Mr Kislyak’s version of the encounter to his superiors.

    One of those quoted said Mr Kislyak spoke to Mr Sessions about key campaign issues, including Mr Trump’s positions on policies significant to Russia.

    During his confirmation hearing earlier this year, Mr Sessions said he had no contact with Russians during the election campaign. When it later emerged he had, he said the campaign was not discussed at the meetings.

    That REAL NEWS just keeps shaking down the FAKE president’s team of hand-picked lying elitist amateur clowns!

    Mr Trump also said he had “complete power” to pardon, amid reports he was considering presidential pardons for family members, aides and even himself in response to the Russian investigation.

    Perhaps it would be easier on the simpler minds, if he just pardoned ALL the Russian agents and spies in the USA – and closed down the US and allied counter intelligence agencies who might be inclined to investigate! 🙂

    (What was that undisclosed topic in the recently discovered secret private second discussion with Putin at the G20??)

    Russian world domination? – with take-overs of successive countries using bought-in fat-stooge puppet governments? – America First?? 🙂 –
    No need to investigate sidelines like that, if Trump and friends can make a profit from business spin-offs!
    Is there?? 🙂

  7. It may be that Mueller has to wait until Trump is out of office before he starts any prosecutions otherwise Trump will just pardon everyone concerned. In fact it seems possible that Trump could pardon people in advance of any potential litigation. When the founders gave that power to the president I doubt they could have envisaged anyone as corrupt as Trump but it’s a terribly dangerous power and is in need of limitation. I have no doubt it does much good where there have been miscarriages of justice but it should not be allowed to apply to those the president has personal connections with or in connection with any matter that involves himself. But which president is ever going to voluntarily sign a bill that limits his own powers? Also Congress is always too partisan to enact legislation against their own party’s or president’s interests so I suspect we will have a long wait.

  8. Alan4discussion #8
    “Mr Trump also said he had “complete power” to pardon, amid reports he was considering presidential pardons for family members, aides and even himself in response to the Russian investigation.”

    A preemptive pardon? Why does this (about another topic) bring back memories of Dubya? Now, I do not know the relevant laws, or perhaps articles of the constitution, relevant to pardons. But even Nixon had been named as an unindicted co-conspirator in some Grand Jury ruling surrounding Watergate, and of course the Articles of Impeachment against him had been passed in the House of Representatives (and would have passed the Senate by about 80 yes to 20 no votes, very much above the two-thirds majority necessary to convict. Even Nixon didn’t succumb to the mental diarrhea that he could pardon himself (Ford pardoned him – it cost him his second term against Jimmy Carter. Possibly good in that it ended the divisiveness of the US at the time, from the viewpoint at the time. Though sometimes I wonder if Nixon had been ground into the dust, annihilated totally, would that have knocked back the KKK-analogue scum (much older than their counterparts Fascists and Nazis in Europe) already spreading in the US and ultimately leading to Alzheimer Ronnie’s election? Maybe Gerry was right, at least in delaying the shredding of the US into enemy camps that make the Cold War enmity look like a love feast.). And some of the people that Slick Willie (he got the taxes right, but was, maybe, just maybe under the duress of the KKK-analogue House of Representatives under psychopath Newt, but I believe out of some social dementia that included Toy Blair in the UK and Gerhard Schröder in Germany, a total suck-as to the vilest part of organized crime in the US, Wall Street) pardoned were white-collar criminal scum I would have loved to see locked up for decades. In my perhaps naïve thinking, you have to do something crappy, or at least be prosecuted before a court for doing something crappy, before a pardon makes sense.

    We’re having a big year-long celebration of the 500th anniversary Martin Luther’s promulgation of his 95 theses (in Latin, for professional theologians) in 1517. The specific instigator of his protest, though not the ultimate cause, was the practice of selling indulgences at the time, which also had a pre-emptive touch to them. “Got my indulgence paper, whee, now I can sin for half a year (or things to such effect, which the Roman Curial “church” did not necessarily approve of, but very definitely did close to nothing to put an end to such local aberrations with any seriousness).

    How many times a years is Duhnald going to pardon himself? Once a month? Hey, he could simply preemptively pardon himself to ward off a Senate vote as was told to Nixon by Republican Senators as being likely. Out the window goes impeachment!

  9. GrumpyKraut #10
    . . . In my perhaps naïve thinking, you have to do something crappy, or at least be prosecuted before a court for doing something crappy, before a pardon makes sense.

    Grumpy, you raise a point that has puzzled me too. It is premature of Donald Trump to mention the exercise of presidential pardon before anyone has been charged, tried and convicted of any crime. Is this an implicit admission of guilt on Mr Trump’s part concerning his associates and himself? It is almost as though he were trying to discourage enquirers from further enquiries by pointing out that, no matter what wrongdoing they may uncover, those found to have done wrong, including himself, will be protected by the presidential power to pardon. Mr Trump may comfort himself with such a notion of power, but I doubt that it can work quite so easily. In any case there seems to be little point to this supercilious claim that he and his men are untouchable, unless he is aware that he and they may have broken the law. Still, one has to keep in mind that Mr Trump is so empty-headed and narcissistic that one cannot guess with any reliability why he might have uttered such a boast when he did.

  10. Garrick #11
    Jul 22, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Mr Trump may comfort himself with such a notion of power, but I doubt that it can work quite so easily. In any case there seems to be little point to this supercilious claim that he and his men are untouchable, unless he is aware that he and they may have broken the law. Still, one has to keep in mind that Mr Trump is so empty-headed and narcissistic that one cannot guess with any reliability why he might have uttered such a boast when he did.

    Quite a few petty dictators have historically suffered from Dunning-Kruger false confidence and delusions of invincibility!

    Trump’s contemptuous comments about “So-called judges”, would indicate that he THINKS he is above the law, knows better than specialist professionals, and is surprised that (those “bad”) people (outside of his sycophant stooge circle), are prepared to challenge him and his edicts!

  11. Alan4discussion #12

    Donald Trump is the most astounding example of the Dunning-Kruger effect I have ever become aware of, and the coterie he has gathered around him only magnifies this effect. Most of the Republicans in Congress seem to exhibit this effect to some extent too, along with a belief in their divine right to rule; though in their case this belief is not based on heredity but on the Old Testament notion of riches and wealth being a sign of divine favor. One has to wonder what will become of the USA in the next few years. Much depends on next year’s mid-term elections.

  12. Garrick #13
    “… Old Testament notion of riches and wealth being a sign of divine favor.”
    I’m very far from having the Old Testament memorized, but I think ol’ Jean Calvin of Geneva was the more proximate source of that bit of Protestant “ethic”. On the other hand, many many of the “Protestant” sects give me the impression they are very much Old Testament people. Sermon of the Mount and the camel and the needle seem not to belong to what they know.

  13. I think the pattern is becoming well established!

    Any official or puppet who is inhibited from immediately jumping to Trump’s whimsical demands and delusional notions, due to an understanding of the law, of the constitution, of [rudimentary?] ethics, or of expert knowledge, must first be subjected to abusive personal attacks and then replaced with a more malleable corruptible puppet if they resist intimidation!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40718076

    President Donald Trump has launched yet another attack on US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, labelling him “weak”.

    His latest Twitter onslaught comes amid reports the president is consulting advisers about possibly firing the country’s top prosecutor.

    On Monday, he called Mr Sessions “beleaguered” in another tweet.

    Mr Trump has made clear he is unhappy with Mr Sessions for recusing himself from an FBI inquiry into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

    “Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!” Mr Trump tweeted on Tuesday.

    Moments earlier he questioned in another post why Mr Sessions was not looking into a report earlier this year that officials in Ukraine had sought to influence last year’s US presidential election in favour of Mr Trump’s Democratic rival.

    The Washington Post reports that Mr Trump has asked an adviser how firing Mr Sessions would be received in the conservative media.

    Anthony Scaramucci, the president’s new communications director, fanned speculation on Tuesday that the attorney general’s days could be numbered.

    Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt put it to Mr Scaramucci that it was pretty clear Mr Trump wants Mr Sessions gone.

    No one is safe – Analysis, by Anthony Zurcher, BBC News

    Mr Trump is apparently unhappy that his attorney general allowed the Russia investigation to morph into the ever-expanding independent counsel probe. And with each new revelation of the investigation’s growing reach, the president has reacted more aggressively.

    Last week’s Bloomberg story that Robert Mueller and his team of veteran prosecutors are looking into the president’s business dealings have been followed by this week’s presidential Twitter tirades.

    The campaign to undermine the attorney general could come at a high price, however. Reports circulate of an administration constantly looking over its shoulder.

    If the president can turn on Mr Sessions, the thinking goes, no one is safe.

  14. I see Trump, could not even respect an invitation to address Boy Scouts, without misusing the occasion to hurl abuse at political opponents and stir up animosity!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40715185

    Parents have expressed anger after President Donald Trump delivered a highly politicised speech to tens of thousands of boy scouts.

    Mr Trump started by saying: “Who the hell wants to speak about politics?”

    But his speech to the Jamboree in West Virginia railed against Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the “cesspool” of politics, drawing whoops and cheers.

    One parent wrote: “Done with scouts after you felt the need to have my kid listen to a liar stroke his ego.”

    The Jamboree of the Boy Scouts of America is held every four years and drew about 35,000 scouts from the ages of 12 to 18 to the latest event, held in Beaver, West Virginia, on Monday evening.

    The Jamboree had issued a warning on its blog about being respectful.

    It read: “Chants of certain phrases heard during the campaign (e.g. ‘build the wall’, ‘lock her up’) are considered divisive by many members of our audience, and may cause unnecessary friction.”

    But in a rambling 35-minute speech, Mr Trump whipped up a response of boos, cheers, chants and jeers as he lambasted fake news, Hillary Clinton’s election campaign and President Obama’s failure to address a Jamboree in person.

    Jude Nevans Cleaver wrote: “I am the proud mother of a former scout who was sheltered from that pack of lies speech at the Jamboree. Done with scouts after you felt the need to have my kid listen to a liar stroke his ego on our time.”

    Debbie S. Milligan said: “Wow, this is what you are teaching the Boy Scouts? To be disrespectful to a Past President. One that had been a Boy Scout, unlike the current President. Completely disrespectful!”

    On Instagram, Pete Souza, the former chief official White House photographer, posted a picture of President Barack Obama meeting a scout.

  15. Further to #16 –

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40745875

    The chief scout of the Boy Scouts of America has apologised for the remarks made by President Donald Trump at the group’s national event this week.

    Over 30,000 people attending the event, where Mr Trump promoted his agenda and criticised his political rivals.

    Michael Surbaugh says the president’s invitation was customary.

    “I want to extend my sincere apologies to those in our Scouting family who were offended by the political rhetoric that was inserted into the jamboree.”

    He went on to say how the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have tried to avoid taking political positions since its creation.

    “We sincerely regret that politics were inserted into the Scouting programme,” he said.

    He added: “We teach youth to become active citizens, to participate in their government, respect the variety of perspectives and to stand up for individual rights.”

    Many parents and members of the Scout community criticised the highly-politicised nature of the speech that followed.

    So even the boy scouts have to tell Trump he is wrong, and seemingly he cannot even behave in keeping with the expected conduct of someone in the office of president when in front of youngsters!

  16. @#15 – President Donald Trump has launched yet another attack on US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, labelling him “weak”.

    It looks like the ad-hominem personal attack style of Trump is spreading more openly in his recent appointment(s), and further disrupting his motley crew – selected for their venom and rebellious natures, rather than any talent for government!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40735613

    Scaramucci in vulgar tirade against White House colleague Priebus

    The new communications director for US President Donald Trump has launched a strongly-worded attack on the White House chief of staff.

    Anthony Scaramucci was scathing about “paranoid schizophrenic” Reince Priebus, in a phone conversation with a reporter from The New Yorker magazine.

    He was upset that the reporter, Ryan Lizza, had tweeted about who Mr Scaramucci was dining with.

    The former Wall Street financier also attacked Trump aide Steve Bannon.

    The conversation with Mr Lizza was littered with profanity-laced insults directed at Mr Priebus and Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.

    Mr Scaramucci later tweeted his regret at the “colourful language”. He did not deny the nature of the conversation as it was reported but said he “made a mistake in trusting a reporter”.

    “It won’t happen again,” he tweeted.

    Mr Scaramucci has spent much of his first week in the White House railing against “leakers” and hinted in interviews that he thinks the chief of staff is one of them.

    By Anthony Zurcher, BBC News, Washington

    Mr Scaramucci recently told the BBC he saw Donald Trump as a disruptive president, elected to tear the established order apart. What’s more, the newly minted White House communications director appears more than happy to help foment the chaos.

    In his obscenity-laced interview, he clearly draws battle lines between himself and his White House opponents – Mr Priebus and Mr Bannon, in particular. His comments are going to make it difficult for the Trump administration to operate in any semblance of a normal fashion in its current composition.

    The problem, however, is that it will be almost impossible to show Mr Scaramucci the door so early in his tenure – it would be a tacit admission the president made a mistake in hiring him. The I-told-you-so’s from the Priebus crowd would be deafening.

    Mr Scaramucci could find some unrelated excuse to bow out – business concerns, perhaps – but that doesn’t seem the pugnacious New Yorker’s style.

    The other option is for the West Wing bloodletting to continue. Given that Scaramucci dined with the president and Fox News firebrand Sean Hannity last night, before the latest round of “disruption” began, Mr Trump may be A-OK with this.

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