WASHINGTON – After voicing her opposition to a closed-door briefing by Department of Homeland Security officials on Trump’s recent controversial Executive Orders, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, the top Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, elaborated on what she learned in the classified briefing. She was able to do so because, “98 percent of what we talked about in that room was not classified and there was no good reason why it had to be done out of the public’s view.”
Describing the process by which the travel ban executive order was implemented, McCaskill said, “While someone at DHS might have known this was coming, they clearly were not given the opportunity to prepare. They were told to implement it immediately by the White House. As a result the gathering of the appropriate officials to actually make this order operational did not even happen until after the order was signed. No wonder it was chaotic and rocky.”
In terms of the rationale for the order, McCaskill was told by top DHS officials that the Executive Order was not issued as result of any recommendation or threat assessment made by DHS to the White House.
McCaskill, joined by all other Democrats on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, had recently called for a public briefing with DHS Secretary John Kelly, a demand McCaskill is continuing to push for, saying “I’ve asked for a public hearing on this subject, so the public can benefit from answers from DHS officials. Chairman (Johnson) is non-committal at this point whether he will have a hearing…If there is not a hearing held on it, I have asked if DHS is willing to do an open public roundtable so that these issues can be flushed out in public and not behind closed doors.”