Speed Reads

speaking out

McCain, Graham: Trump order 'may do more to help terrorist recruitment than improve our security'

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) released a joint statement on Sunday criticizing President Trump's executive order on immigration, saying that by banning refugees from majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States, a signal is being sent "intended or not that America does not want Muslims coming into our country. That is why we fear this executive order may do more to help terrorist recruitment than improve our security."

While the United States must defend its borders, it has to be done in a way that "makes us safer and upholds all that is decent and exceptional about our nation," the senators said. The confusion at airports across the country on Saturday showed the executive order "was not properly vetted," and they are "particularly concerned by reports that this order went into effect with little to no consultation with the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security."

McCain and Graham also said the executive order hurts interpreters who served the U.S. military, refugees who "have suffered unspeakable horrors," green card holders, and U.S. allies in Iraq. "Ultimately, we fear this executive order will become a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism," the senators said. "At this very moment, American troops are fighting side-by-side with our Iraqi partners to defeat [the Islamic State]. But this executive order bans Iraqi pilots from coming to military bases in Arizona to fight out common enemies. Our most important allies in the fight against [ISIS] are the vast majority of Muslims who reject its apocalyptic ideology of hatred." Before tweeting his own statement about the executive order, Trump tweeted that McCain and Graham are "sadly weak on immigration" and "always looking to start World War III."