President Trump’s uneasy alliance with his Republican majorities in Congress is beginning to teeter.
Top lawmakers and party aides accused the White House of blindsiding them with an executive order on immigration that sowed chaos at major U.S. airports, contradicting administration officials who claimed that Capitol Hill had taken a leading role in writing the policy. Senior aides to the chairmen of the House Homeland Security, Judiciary, and Foreign Affairs committees all said the White House failed to consult them on the immigration directive, which led to lawsuits and widespread protests across the country over the weekend. More Republican lawmakers issued statements critical of Trump’s action on Sunday evening and Monday, even as many said they supported a temporary halt to the refugee program and restrictions on travel from Muslim countries.
“It would have been smarter to coordinate with us,” Representative Dave Brat of Virginia, a Trump ally, said in a phone interview on Monday. “They could have done a better job announcing how the complexities were going to work in advance.”
Republicans were particularly angry that the Trump administration did not initially exempt green-card holders, or those who had served as military or diplomatic interpreters from the ban. “In the future, such policy changes should be better coordinated with the agencies implementing them and with Congress to ensure we get it right—and don’t undermine our nation’s credibility while trying to restore it,” Representative Michael McCaul of Texas, the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said in a statement.