Paul Ryan has come out in support of the Trump administration today and the ban on travel from seven Muslim countries. In a not so surprising flip-flop, he now favors this insane policy. He told reporters, “The president has a responsibility to the security of this country. What is happening is something that we support, which is we need to pause, and we need to make sure that the vetting standards are up to snuff, so that we can guarantee the safety and security of this country. That is what this does.”
While many Republicans have finally taken a stand and criticized Trump for the mass chaos over the weekend, Paul Ryan defended him in a meeting this morning with Republican lawmakers. He did acknowledge there would be protests due to the controversy, which he called “regrettable” in the understatement of the year. Although the policy was signed Friday afternoon, it was not made public until Friday evening. Top Republicans were understandably upset they learned of it at the same time everyone else did, via television. By Monday, they were still having difficulty getting answers to their questions. Eventually a FAQ sheet was distributed; better late than never.
Bob Corker (R-TN), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, deviated from Paul Ryan’s stance. He stated that lawmakers might need to legislate their way around the issues if the administration did not address them quickly.
“I think they understand it was a misfire here,” Corker told reporters on Monday evening. “Obviously the communication was not there. The agency process was not there. Folks here on the Hill were not aware of what was getting ready to happen. People around the world were not aware. Chaos ensued,” he added. (Guardian)
Senator Marco Rubio had major problems as well. He has been unable to receive any clarification, contrary to anything the administration’s Secretary of Flat Out Lying says. Sean Spicer told reporters, “There were staff from appropriate committees and leadership offices that were involved.” The explanation for this is actually quite interesting:
The White House worked with senior staffers on the House Judiciary Committee to draft the order. But those staffers, who work ultimately for Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), didn’t tell their bosses. In other words, they secretly collaborated with White House staff without informing the members of Congress they work for. Indeed, the administration went so far as to have them sign non-disclosure agreements swearing them to secrecy! (TPM)
What the hell? That is wrong on so many levels. And not shockingly, Lyin’ Ryan refused to address that at all today. What fun.
In the end, there are several viewpoints among Republicans about this disastrous cluster of a policy.
Rory Cooper, a former Republican leadership aide, said it was “astounding” that the administration did not offer a heads up even to members of its own party.
“It goes to a broader point which is that the president is simply just not surrounded by people with the expertise or experience to provide him with the adequate counsel, like informing Congress or doing the due diligence of an agency review,” Cooper said.
“There’s really no excuse other than the arrogance on the part of a few advisers.”
Or the nobody has any common sense defense.
Another 2016 contender, Senator Ted Cruz, commended Trump “for acting swiftly to try to prevent terrorists from infiltrating our refugee programs”.
“In contrast to the hysteria and mistruths being pushed by the liberal media, President Trump’s executive order implements a four-month pause in refugee admissions so that stronger vetting procedures can be put in place,” the Texas senator said.
Oh, christ on a cracker, Cruz. “Liberal media” my fat…I really wish you would come up with something else. Anything else.
“This executive order sends a signal, intended or not, that America does not want Muslims coming into our country,” McCain and Graham said. “That is why we fear this executive order may do more to help terrorist recruitment than improve our security.”
Dean Heller, a Republican from Nevada, said he was “deeply troubled by the appearance of a religious ban”.
I would wonder if the Republican Party had a chance of enduring this if I were not so concerned about our country surviving with our democracy still intact.