Marco Rubio says that State Department officials have been ordered not to discuss Trump’s Muslim ban with members of Congress.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio told reporters on Monday that officials with the Department of State have been ordered not to speak with members of Congress or their staff about matters related to Trump’s temporary travel ban.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said that his staff was trying to seek additional details about President Trump’s executive order on immigration, but they were told by the State Department that the agency had been ordered not to share information with Congress.
“They’re aren’t a lot of answers as of today. In fact, my staff was told the State Department, as of today, was ordered not to talk to Congress about this issue,” Rubio told reporters Monday evening.
The Week reports that when a reporter asked him why, he responded: “I don’t know the reason. Maybe, perhaps, they’re still kind of working through how this is going to apply, so perhaps they don’t want to give us information that is wrong.”
“We reached out to State Department, and we were told the directive was that they were not to share any information today,” Rubio stated again later, adding: “Again, I suppose its because they aren’t clear what to tell us yet, but that cannot be a permanent position. We expect answers here fairly soon because we have constituents calling.”
Acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner disputed those claims, telling reporters that “The Department remains in contact with members of Congress who have reached out regarding the executive orders, and will continue to provide information and assistance as we are able.
However, as Politico reports, “Still, that discrepancy illustrates that widespread confusion caused by Trump’s executive order issued Friday that temporarily suspends refugees into the United States, bars foreigners from seven predominantly Muslim countries and indefinitely bans Syrian refugees. White House officials said they intentionally gave few details to agencies.”
Politico adds that:
Rubio said there is “no doubt” the administration will have to issue clarifications to the order.
“From what I’ve heard from multiple agencies, there’s still significant questions about how this is supposed to be applied,” Rubio said. “This is a big change. And it has a lot of moving parts and a lot of agencies and thousands of individuals tasked with enforcing and applying it.”