Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly denied Tuesday that a senior White House aide asked him to keep in place a temporary ban on allowing green card holders to enter the U.S.
Permanent residents were caught up in the early hours of President Trump's temporary bans on entry by refugees and travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries. After the orders sowed confusion and drew widespread condemnation, the Department of Homeland Security clarified that green card holders would not be kept out of the country.
According to a weekend report in the Washington Post, Kelly was asked by senior White House counselor Steve Bannon to preserve the ban on green card holders. The White House strongly denied the story, and Kelly echoed that stance at a House Homeland Security Committee hearing, calling the report "untrue."
Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly laid out for lawmakers on Tuesday the lengthy timeline needed to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, giving the administration's first detailed description of how the project, President Trump's central campaign promise, will unfold.
Rather than immediately launching a massive, multibillion-dollar construction project along the 2,000 miles of the southern border, Kelly described a more restrained approach.
“We’re not going to build a wall everywhere all at once,” he told the House Homeland Security Committee.
President Trump said his administration will fight to preserve his seven-nation travel ban, even if it means appealing to the Supreme Court.
“It’s very important for the country,” Trump told reporters Tuesday during a round table with sheriffs from around the country, calling his executive order “common sense.” “We have to have security in our country.”
Surrounded by the members of law enforcement, Trump restated his administration’s commitment to preventing terrorism on U.S. soil.
Andy Puzder, President Trump’s nominee for Labor secretary, admitted to employing an immigrant housekeeper who had entered the U.S. illegally, raising another potential problem for his confirmation amid Democratic criticism of his treatment of workers.
“My wife and I employed a housekeeper for a few years, during which I was unaware that she was not legally permitted to work in the U.S.,” Puzder said in a written statement provided by a spokesman.
“When I learned of her status, we immediately ended her employment and offered her assistance in getting legal status. We have fully paid back taxes to the IRS and the state of California,” said Puzder, who is chief executive of CKE Restaurants Inc., the Carpinteria-based parent of the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s fast-food chains.
President Trump's top Homeland Security official took responsibility Tuesday for the haphazard rollout of Trump's restrictions on entry into the U.S., a striking claim because he was largely left out of the crafting of the order.
The confusion surrounding the execution of the order is "all on me,” Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly told the House Homeland Security Committee in his first appearance before Congress since Trump temporarily halted refugees and barred entry for people to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Looking back, Kelly added, "I should have delayed it just a bit" to inform those directly affected by the order as well as members of Congress.
Days after a senior White House aide complained that the news media had failed to report a nonexistent “massacre” in Kentucky, President Trump suggested Monday that journalists deliberately ignored terrorist attacks.
“It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported,” Trump said in remarks to troops at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla. “And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons and you understand that.”
It’s unclear which attacks he had in mind because the news media have devoted extensive resources to covering both terrorist plots and counter-terrorism operations since the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.