WASHINGTON, Jan 31: US President Donald Trump today fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates for betraying the Department of Justice after she refused to defend his executive order that denies entry to all refugees as well as citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations.
“(Yates) has betrayed the Department of Justice,” the White House statement said.
Trump did not call Yates to dismiss her, she was informed by hand-delivered letter.
The dramatic move came soon after Yates told Justice Department lawyers not to make legal arguments defending Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees.
“At present, I am not convinced that the defence of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities, nor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful,” Yates wrote in a letter to Justice Department lawyers.
The White House said, “Ms Yates is an Obama Administration appointee who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration.”
“It is time to get serious about protecting our country. Calling for tougher vetting for individuals travelling from seven dangerous places is not extreme. It is reasonable and necessary to protect our country,” it said.
Trump’s executive order bars citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for the next 90 days, suspends the admission of all refugees for 120 days and indefinitely suspends the Syrian refugee program.
The White House named Dana Boente as the new Acting Attorney General till time its nominee Senator Jeff Sessions is confirmed by the US Senate.
“I am honoured to serve President Trump in this role until Senator Sessions is confirmed. I will defend and enforce the laws of our country to ensure that our people and our nation are protected,” Boente said. (PTI)