White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday bluntly told State Department employees who oppose President Trump’s controversial immigration order that “they should either get with the program or they can go.”
Spicer had been asked about news reports that scores of diplomats have signed drafts of a memo, distributed through a “dissent channel” set up for employees to criticize U.S. policy, that breaks with Trump’s freeze of immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations. One version of the document reportedly says the ban “will not achieve its aim of making our country safer.”
Spicer portrayed the diplomats as “career diplomats” and declared: “I think that they should either get with the program or they can go.”
Trump “is going to implement things that are in the best interest of protecting this country prospectively, not reactively, and if somebody has a problem with that agenda, then that does call into question whether or not they should continue in that post or not,” the press secretary said at his daily briefing.
“I know the president appreciates the people who serve this nation and the public servants, but at some point, if they have a big problem with the policies that he’s instituting to keep the country safe, then that’s up to them to question whether or not they want to stay or not,” Spicer said.
Earlier, former President George W. Bush’s office said he would not comment on Trump’s order. But a spokesman for former President Barack Obama said he was “heartened” by the nationwide opposition to the order.
On Friday, Trump signed an executive order banning immigration to the United States by citizens from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen for 90 days. Admission of all refugees was halted for 120 days. The order sparked protests at major U.S. airports and criticism by some U.S. allies, as well as legal challenges from civil liberties groups.
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