Junior Republican Senator from Nebraska Ben Sasse attacked President Donald Trump’s executive order halting refugee resettlement as a “signal” that would empower Islamic jihadists.
Trump’s executive order sent the left into a frenzy and mostly shut down his previous intra-party GOP critics. But Sasse criticized the order as “too broad,” and a “signal” that empowers terrorists in their recruiting efforts. Sasse said on Saturday:
The President is right to focus attention on the obvious fact that borders matter. At the same time, while not technically a Muslim ban, this order is too broad. There are two ways to lose our generational battle against jihadism by losing touch with reality. The first is to keep pretending that jihadi terrorism has no connection to Islam or to certain countries. That’s been a disaster. And here’s the second way to fail: If we send a signal to the Middle East that the U.S. sees all Muslims as jihadis, the terrorist recruiters win by telling kids that America is banning Muslims and that this is America versus one religion. Both approaches are wrong, and both will make us less safe. Our generational fight against jihadism requires wisdom.
Ironically, Sasse’s criticism of Trump on this front stands at odds with fellow frequent Trump critic House Speaker Paul Ryan, who this time praised Trump’s refugee resettlement halt in a statement after previously, throughout the 2016 campaign, criticizing the now-president of the United States.
Ryan said in a statement this week praising Trump’s move:
Our number one responsibility is to protect the homeland. We are a compassionate nation, and I support the refugee resettlement program, but it’s time to reevaluate and strengthen the visa vetting process. This is why we passed bipartisan legislation in the wake of the Paris attacks to pause the intake of refugees. President Trump is right to make sure we are doing everything possible to know exactly who is entering our country.
Interestingly, despite this Saturday statement criticizing Trump, Sasse voted for an amendment to suspend visas from 33 “high-risk” nations last December, many of which are majority-Muslim countries. Sasse, during the 2016 presidential election, became one of the leaders of the so-called “Never Trump” movement that sought to withhold GOP support for Trump during the primaries and even after Trump won the party’s presidential nomination.