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In tweets, President Trump criticizes statement by John McCain, Lindsey Graham on immigration order

Posted: 3:45 PM, Jan 29, 2017
Updated: 2017-01-29 18:26:41-05

The backlash against President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration has the White House facing criticism from members of the president's own party--and firing back.

Sunday, Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham issued a joint statement on Trump's executive order, which was signed on Friday.

"We are particularly concerned by reports that this order went into effect with little to no consultation with the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security," the statement read. "Ultimately, we fear this executive order will become a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism." The full statement has been included at the bottom of this article.

The statement comes after thousands flooded airports across the country to protest after green card holders from the seven countries Trump's order banned were detained and prohibited from entering the United States. Late Saturday, a federal judge in New York ruled those with permanent residency status who were in transit at the time the order was signed would be allowed to enter the country.

In response, Trump said the statement was wrong and called McCain and Graham "sadly weak on immigration."

Trump also responded more broadly to the attacks on his executive action, saying that the order targeting seven Muslim-majority countries was about keeping the country safe, and not religion.

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STATEMENT BY SENATORS McCAIN & GRAHAM ON EXECUTIVE ORDER ON IMMIGRATION
Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) released the following statement today on the President's executive order on immigration:
 
"Our government has a responsibility to defend our borders, but we must do so in a way that makes us safer and upholds all that is decent and exceptional about our nation. 
 
"It is clear from the confusion at our airports across the nation that President Trump's executive order was not properly vetted. We are particularly concerned by reports that this order went into effect with little to no consultation with the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security. 
 
"Such a hasty process risks harmful results. We should not stop green-card holders from returning to the country they call home. We should not stop those who have served as interpreters for our military and diplomats from seeking refuge in the country they risked their lives to help. And we should not turn our backs on those refugees who have been shown through extensive vetting to pose no demonstrable threat to our nation, and who have suffered unspeakable horrors, most of them women and children.
 
"Ultimately, we fear this executive order will become a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism. At this very moment, American troops are fighting side-by-side with our Iraqi partners to defeat ISIL. But this executive order bans Iraqi pilots from coming to military bases in Arizona to fight our common enemies. Our most important allies in the fight against ISIL are the vast majority of Muslims who reject its apocalyptic ideology of hatred. This executive order sends a signal, intended or not, that America does not want Muslims coming into our country. That is why we fear this executive order may do more to help terrorist recruitment than improve our security."