Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham: Trump immigration order wasn't vetted
U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) talks to reporters as he arrives at Capitol Hill in Washington U.S. May 10, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

U.S. Senator John McCain said on Sunday that President Donald Trump's order targeting immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries has been "confusing" and raised a number of questions.


"It's been a very confusing process," McCain, a Republican and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told CBS' 'Face the Nation.' McCain said the effect of Trump's immigration order "will probably, in some areas, give ISIS (Islamic State) some more propaganda," and asked why the countries targeted by the order included Iraq, where U.S. forces are fighting alongside Iraqi forces against Islamic State.

McCain said he was "worried" about the addition of Trump's chief strategist and former campaign chief Steve Bannon to the U.S. National Security Council. McCain said this was "a radical departure from any national security council in history."

(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

FULL STATEMENT:

U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) released the following statement today on the President’s executive order on immigration:

“Our government has a responsibility to defend our borders, but we must do so in a way that makes us safer and upholds all that is decent and exceptional about our nation.

“It is clear from the confusion at our airports across the nation that President Trump’s executive order was not properly vetted. We 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.

“Such a hasty process risks harmful results. We should not stop green-card holders from returning to the country they call home. We should not stop those who have served as interpreters for our military and diplomats from seeking refuge in the country they risked their lives to help. And we should not turn our backs on those refugees who have been shown through extensive vetting to pose no demonstrable threat to our nation, and who have suffered unspeakable horrors, most of them women and children.

“Ultimately, we fear this executive order will become a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism. At this very moment, American troops are fighting side-by-side with our Iraqi partners to defeat ISIL. But this executive order bans Iraqi pilots from coming to military bases in Arizona to fight our common enemies. Our most important allies in the fight against ISIL are the vast majority of Muslims who reject its apocalyptic ideology of hatred. This executive order sends a signal, 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.”