Attorney General Jeff Sessions called a Justice Department intern “Dr. Whatever Your Name Is” during a tense exchange on marijuana policy over the summer.
A video obtained by ABC News shows Sessions taking questions from college students for 25 minutes during the “Summer Intern Lecture Series” in June. One intern questioned the Sessions about his support of "pretty harsh policies for marijuana and pretty lax gun control laws."
The student noted that statistically, guns kill more people than the drug.
Sessions said more fatal car accidents are caused by drugs than by alcohol, adding that the American Medical Association "is crystal clear" that marijuana is not a "healthy substance."
The intern then challenged his response, prompting Sessions to dismiss her remarks while calling her "Dr. Whatever Your Name Is." He encouraged her to write to the AMA if she disagrees with their view.
"I don’t think America's going to be a better place if marijuana's sold in every corner grocery store," Sessions said at one point.
Later during the event, Sessions shot back at another intern’s assertion that police officers are feared in minority communities.
“I grew up in one of these communities," the University of California, Berkeley student and intern told Sessions. "I grew up in a project to a single mother. And the people who we are afraid of are not necessarily our neighbors, but the police."
Sessions replied: "Well, that may be the view in Berkeley, but it's not the view" in other places.
When questioned by an intern about the administration’s commitment to supporting transgender rights, including in bathrooms, Sessions told him “you can be sure that we will protect transgenders and all people and their civil rights,” but added that state and local governments get the final say about bathroom rules.
A Justice Department spokeswoman told ABC News that the lecture series allowed students “to have robust conversations — even debates — about the challenges facing our country with the attorney general.”
Indeed, Sessions joked before taking questions that "I think I’m going to run out the back door."