The Obama appointee who refused to defend the president’s order when it went into effect in January also implied that the administration was Islamophobic.
Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, at the Aspen Ideas Festival on Tuesday, accused the Trump administration of lying about the motivations behind President Trump’s initial executive order that barred entry into the United States for passport holders from six Muslim-majority countries.
Following the enacting of the ban, Yates said that she met with Trump officials to go over the legal justification for the order.
“At the end of that [meeting], I was not comfortable that it was in fact lawful or constitutional,” she said.
“Our defending this travel ban would require me to send lawyers of the Department of Justice into court to say the ban had nothing to do with religion: ‘It was all based on national security, nothing to do with religion,'” Yates continued.
“I did not believe that to be a defense that was grounded in truth,” she added, implying that the Trump administration’s primary motivation for the travel ban was Islamophobia.
Yates’ assertion failed to account for the fact that the Obama administration had identified the seven countries on a list regarding “the growing threat from foreign terrorist fighters.”
Trump fired Yates following her refusal to defend the order.
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