*NB: an updated version of this story is available here.*
President Donald Trump has sacked the US’s highest ranking lawyer, acting Attorney General Sally Yates. It follows her taking the rare step of defying the president over his travel ban.
In a letter she had said she was not convinced the restrictions were lawful.
President Trump declared that Sally Yates had “betrayed” the administration, the White House said in a statement https://t.co/lISESwQFSK— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 31, 2017
Firing of Sally Yates underscores how impt it is to have an Attorney General who'll stand up to the WhiteHouse when they violate the law.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 31, 2017
In Washington there have been more protests against Trumps executive order banning US entry from selected counties. This time it was Congressional democrats in front of the Supreme Court.
“What the president has done is not in the interest of security. It is reckless. It is reckless and rash. To protect our Constitution and our people, we must be strong and smart,” House minority leader Nancy Pelosi told protesters.
The Trump administration meanwhile has been trying to calm things down, denying it was to blame for chaos at the nation’s airports. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said a majority of Americans agree with the president.
“Look coming into this country is still a privilege, we’re the greatest country on earth. And being able to come to America is a privilege, not a right, and it is our duty and it is the president’s goal to make sure that everybody who comes into this country to the best of our ability is here because they want to enjoy this country and come in peacefully.”
Trump’s directive has put a temporary hold of 120-days on allowing refugees into the country along with an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria and a 90-day bar on citizens from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. He argues tougher vetting of immigrants is needed to protect America from terror attacks.
There is nothing nice about searching for terrorists before they can enter our country. This was a big part of my campaign. Study the world!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 30, 2017
Trump’s predecessor, former US President Barack Obama has broken with tradition of remaining silent in the weeks and months following a handover of power.
Via a spokesman he said that he was “heartened” by the level of engagement taking place across the country.