Trump Had 'Secret Help' From House Aides on Immigration Order

House staffers kept GOP leaders in the dark
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2017 9:21 AM CST
Trump Had 'Secret Help' From House Aides on Immigration Order
The Capitol Building is illuminated against the sunrise.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

President Trump has been accused of signing off on a legally flawed immigration order crafted without congressional input, but according to Politico's sources, his team did have some help on Capitol Hill—they just couldn't tell their bosses about the order. The sources say aides on the House Judicial Committee helped the Trump team draft the executive order between the election and his swearing-in, but they were required to sign nondisclosure agreements and Republican leaders were not informed. In a statement, a committee aide said they had been permitted "to offer their policy expertise," but Trump was responsible for the "final policy decisions contained in the executive order and its subsequent roll-out and implementation."

Some senior Republican lawmakers saw a draft version of the order early last week, insiders tell BuzzFeed, but they were left in the dark about major changes, which meant even legal US residents were blocked from entering the country, until after the order was signed. "It was chaotic and very uncoordinated and it caused not only a lot of concern and problems on Capitol Hill, it caused obviously a big PR backlash for the administration," one GOP aide says. According to the Washington Post's sources, the bungled rollout has exposed not just a rift between the White House and congressional Republicans, but between different factions in the White House itself, with many unhappy with Steve Bannon's disregard for tradition. "The problem they’ve got is this is an off-Broadway performance of a show that is now the number one hit on Broadway," says Newt Gingrich. (Read more President Trump stories.)

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