WASHINGTON — Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman on Sunday criticized President Donald Trump’s executive action banning travel into the United States from seven countries, saying it wasn’t fully considered.
“This was an extreme vetting program that wasn’t properly vetted,” Portman told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”
He said he’s glad to see two federal judges temporarily block Trump’s executive order, and said Congress should be involved in strengthening the nation’s vetting of visa applicants.
“We ought to be part of it. We’ve been working on this,” Portman said.
He did argue that Trump’s executive action is not a ban that specifically targets Muslims. However, he said, there is “not adequate screening, particularly on our visa waiver program, so I do think we need to tighten things up.”
Portman also said Sunday that lawmakers should not allow Trump to unilaterally roll back sanctions on Russia. He said he is pushing legislation with bipartisan backing to block the President from doing so without the approval of Congress.
“There’s a general sense in the House and the Senate that we need to ensure that a clear message is sent,” he said.