RELEASE: Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Says He Has a Few Expletives for Jeff Sessions

New York, NY — In an interview with Center for American Progress’ podcast, “Thinking CAP,” former U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. says he has a few choice words for current U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Holder said:

There’s a lot that I say that I’m not going to say here with you today. But there are a few expletive, deleted kinds of things that I react to, but its also a very disheartening thing to see that progress that we were making. … During the Obama administration and after we announced the Smart on Crime initiative, for the first time in 40 years where we saw the federal prison population rate go down and the crime rate go down in the same year; we were making progress. The possibility for criminal justice reform was there, was in our grasp. And now we’re in a different place because of an election—a consequential, obviously, very consequential, election. It’s something, to me, that’s very distressing, disturbing, but it also galvanizes me.

Holder says his biggest regret as attorney general was the Obama administration’s inability to get meaningful gun safety legislation passed after the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012. He diminishes the influence of the gun rights advocacy group. “The NRA is not as powerful as people think they are. They pick their spots. They’ll pick off a person putting in huge amounts of money. … If you put people in Congress…who share the same views are their constituents, the NRA will be seen as the paper tiger that it is.”

In the wide-ranging interview with podcast co-hosts Michele Jawando and Igor Volsky, Holder also addressed the ongoing feud over protests from the NFL, addressing the suspension of ESPN correspondent Jemele Hill and Vice President Mike Pence’s recent stunt at an Indianapolis Colts football game. Holder also weighs in on the rollback of the DACA program, and the mass shooting in Las Vegas earlier this month.

Jawando and Volsky spoke with Holder at the Smart on Crime Innovations Conference at John Jay College in New York City earlier this month. Listen to the full interview here.

Thinking CAP is a weekly podcast launched in May by CAP. During the past few months, co-hosts Michele Jawando and Igor Volsky have spoken with leading progressive thought leaders, comedians, advocates, and politicians, including Hasan Minhaj of “The Daily Show,” comedian Baratunde Thurston, Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Al Franken (D-MN), and Chris Murphy (D-CT), former U.S. Secretary of Education John King, and former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, among others. The podcast is produced by Sally Tucker; Rachel Rosen is the supervising producer. New episodes are released every Thursday. The podcast is available on iTunes, SoundCloud, and CAP’s website.

If you are looking for more information on guest booking, please contact Sally Tucker at sstucker@americanprogress.org or 202.481.8103.