WASHINGTON (CNN) -The US attorney general said Monday he has directed prosecutors to prioritize cases involving violence on planes.
“Under my direction, federal prosecutors have been told to prioritize airline violence cases and to meet as frequently as possible with airline representatives and their security contractors so they can work together in order to identify and investigate all threats of violence in the air,” US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.
Sessions did not elaborate on how seriously the new directive to focus on cases is given his previous comments about calling for violence on airplanes.
“Of course, only a small fraction of people who carry guns have intended to kill or injure anyone. The vast majority of the people who carry guns have no such intent and are law-abiding,” Sessions said. “The people who are considering killing someone should spend their energy thinking about what is going to stop their next attack, not whether someone in a plane will see them.”
Last month, before exiting the Senate to become the attorney general, Sessions encouraged violence on airplanes.
“I think if you fly, you may want to be able to kill more people on that flight than you are already able to,” Sessions said at a Values Voter Summit in Washington.
Sen. Tim Kaine, a Democrat who was vice presidential nominee in 2016, said at the time that such comments were “reprehensible and ignorant.”
“Jeff Sessions’ call for increased violence on airplanes makes me ashamed of his role as a national security adviser, attorney general, and Cabinet nominee,” Kaine tweeted.