If you missed Attorney General Jeff Sessions‘ testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday, you didn’t miss much. In Washington D.C. the phrase “I do not recall,” can get you out of pretty much anything, so there was never going to be a Matlock moment where Sessions confessed to massaging Russian Ambassador Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak’s thigh under the table at the Republican National Convention, or whatever. And Sessions took memory loss to new heights, prompting The New York Times to ask in an editorial “How many ways are there to fail to answer a question under oath?”
But some destination viewing occurred late in the hearing when it was time for California’s freshman senator Kamala Harris to testify. She’s quickly becoming a breakout star of all these hearings, and attempts to quiet her only seem to keep her star on the rise.
For much of the questioning Sessions is faux-cowed, hands folded and shoulders hunched. The man was certainly projecting a defiant fake-ness. How saucy was he? He was so saucy that in a hearing investigating, among other things, the extent to which he may or may not have colluded with Russia to rig our elections he brings up the fact that “the Soviet Union did collapse, it’s really a tragic strategic event that we’re not able to get along better than we are today.” Yeah, why not put in a good word for the Russians, in a hearing about whether or not you’re a Russian pawn?
The Harris problems begin when Sessions, in the video above says with some extra verbal sauce, “I don’t recall that… at this moment.” What he’s left off is: “But maybe I will later.” Harris, a former prosecutor and woman of color, takes a hard line because of this and, around the 3 minute mark, this upsets the man named after Jefferson Davis.
“Will you let me qualify it?” he yells, all fake politeness dropped. “If I don’t qualify it, you’ll accuse me of lying. So I need to be correct as best I can. I’m not able to be rushed this fast. It makes me nervous.”
This is of course the second time in the course of these Russia investigations that Harris has been reprimanded by an older white man for her questioning of a witness, the first with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
And, don’t worry, celebrities, among others, have noticed.
Sure, perhaps some of the baggage she racked up as California’s Attorney General complicates her form becoming a truly unifying icon of the left. That said Andy Richter is absolutely correct. Your older Senators may not realize it but “Nevertheless, she persisted” is a phrase now sweeping the nation’s tote bags. If they really wanted to shut her up and shut her down, this wasn’t the best tactic. With their help, or even because of them, she’s on her way to becoming a household name.
We’ll leave you now with this video of a CNN talking head shutting down a Trump surrogate who called Harris “hysterical” despite the fact that he needs a goatee to prove that he has a face.
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