- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday that the rollout of President Donald Trump’s executive order restricting travel from seven majority-Muslim countries was “terrible.”

Christie said Trump’s intention to protect the country from terrorist attacks is right but that the order was explained so “unartfully” that it allowed the president’s opponents to mischaracterize it. He said Trump deserves to be better served by his advisers.

“The rollout of this executive order was terrible. The way people were not involved or consulted. … The president deserved much better than the rollout that he got of this plan.”

Christie’s comments come after Trump fired the acting U.S. attorney general after she publicly questioned the constitutionality of his refugee and immigration order and refused to defend it in court.

They also came after GOP congressional leadership was frozen out of the drafting of the order. Despite that, House Speaker Paul Ryan told rank-and-file Republicans in a closed-door meeting before speaking to reporters that he supports the order.

The clash Monday night between Trump and Sally Yates, the fired acting attorney general, showed growing dissent surrounding an executive order that halts the U.S. refugee program and bans entry from seven Muslim-majority nations for 90 days.

The action triggered confusion and chaos worldwide, split families and set off protests at airports across the country.

Kevin McAleenan, acting commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, said Tuesday that it was fair to say communication among government agencies had “not been the best.”

He also said that nearly 900 refugees would be granted waivers under the order because stopping them would cause “undue hardship.”

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly denied reports that he had been out of the loop in the White House planning for the immigration restrictions.



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