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During a free speech discussion Tuesday night on Fox News, Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended President Donald Trump's recent controversial attacks on NFL players protesting during the national anthem.

“Absolutely not,” said Sessions after Tucker Carlson asked him if the president's words “contravene the spirit of the First Amendment?”

“The president of the United States has free speech. He believes, and I believe, that people should take a moment before a football game and stand on the national anthem is played. What's wrong with that?” Sessions said.

Sessions added that while the administration has “no legal case to condemn a person,” they should “stand for America, should salute the flag.”

He added:

“It's not political, it's not an affirmation of Trump or Hillary Clinton or any other agenda. It is simply an affirmation of respect for the United States of America and this great heritage of freedom and for these football players, prosperity, that they have. I think that's a perfectly appropriate thing for the president to say.”

“What do you think it's about?” Carlson asked Sessions, regarding protests NFL players have been doing since last year regarding police brutality.

“They haven't thought it through,” Sessions replied. “They haven't realized that what they are doing is actually demeaning the country, not some politicians that they may disagree with.”

Earlier in his appearance, Sessions praised the federal government for standing up to states during the civil rights era that tried to “silence voices that were against segregation”:

“I will say this, back in the civil rights days, a lot of areas in the south attempted to silence voices that were against segregation. That was a time that the federal government in many ways spoke and I think spoke on free-speech issues too.”

Watch the full video below, via Fox News.

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