BOZEMAN – Former United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions made a special stop in Bozeman on Monday night.
His goal: talk to young minds at Montana State University about the First Amendment and conservative ideas that he relied on during his decades in national politics, including working with President Trump.
Free tickets for the event sold out early, all to see former US attorney general Jeff Sessions.
With discussion points on the agenda such as his past service as the US attorney general as well as the military and beyond, the MSU College Republicans say he hoped the audience, especially the young minds, would take away an important message.
“It means a lot to us that he would come to the university, itself,” says Ellie Krizan, vice-chairwoman of the MSU College Republicans.
Seats quickly filled in Asbjornson Hall’s Inspiration Hall with the audience ranging from old to young.
The former US attorney general quickly stated his case.
“Don’t let anybody put you down,” Sessions says.
A key topic: the First Amendment, from the Freedom of Speech on campus to the Freedom of Religion, citing his upbringing in Selma and leadership in Alabama for students to compare to their own.
“I believe integrity, hard work, teamwork, the ability to show a certain amount of humility, to have lived with people with all different backgrounds gives you some advantages that others don’t have,” Sessions says.
Sessions also discussed the average American wealth, along with the importance of an objective legal system.
He also joked about his retirement just last November.
“One of the most important duties of the attorney general and any other cabinet member, at that matter, is to resign when asked,” Sessions says.
Looking to Montana, Sessions talked about Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Wade Palmer, who was shot in the head in March while on-duty and is still recovering.
“This country owes them a moral obligation, back them up, not to demean them but to respect their work and defend them when they are doing the job as they should,” Session says.
Students and parents of students, alike, both say the speech was informative.
“We’re very excited to hear about his experience as attorney general as well as the advice that he has for any of the students here at MSU,” Krizan says.
“I don’t know too much about him but I’m pretty excited to just see what he has to say about conservative values and all that stuff,” says Vincent Davison, MSU Freshman.
“I think it’s dynamite,” says Marya Felenchek, who was on a tour group with her son when she heard about the event. “I tried to bring my son but he didn’t want to come.”
Students hope that his message reaches both sides of the aisle.
“Many of you are leaders now or you will certainly become leaders in the future,” Sessions says.
This is not Jeff Sessions first visit to Bozeman.
He also visited last June when he was still the acting US attorney general.
Reporting by Cody Boyer for MTN News