- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Tuesday that the rollout of President Trump’s extreme vetting executive order was “regrettable,” but said the new policy is not only legal, but the right thing to do to try to head off a future terrorist attack.

He said he’s talked with new Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly to make sure the policy is carried out better, particularly when it comes to green card holders who were getting snared in the early going.

But he said the House, in a bipartisan fashion, voted to back a pause in the refugee program in the last Congress, and he said the seven majority-Muslim countries whom Mr. Trump has subjected to a temporary visa ban were actually singled out by Congress and the Obama administration.

“There is nothing wrong with taking a pause and making sure we have the proper vetting in place,” he said.

Some Republicans defected from Mr. Trump in the early going after he signed his executive order Friday, sparking a weekend of confusion at airports across the globe.

Mr. Ryan said that he was concerned about the hiccups, but stuck with Mr. Trump on the policy, saying the president earned a mandate during the campaign on border security.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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