McConnell: 'I Think It's a Good Idea to Tighten the Vetting'

By Susan Jones | January 30, 2017 | 5:50am EST
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says the courts will determine if President Trump's executive order on immigration is too broad. (AP File Photo)

( - Asked if he supports President Donald Trump's 90-day ban on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged caution:

"Well, I think it's a good idea to tighten the vetting process," McConnell told ABC's "This Week."  "But I also think it's important to remember that some of our best sources in the war against radical Islamic terrorism are Muslims, both in this country and overseas. And we have had some difficulty in the past getting interpreters...who are helpful to us treated properly.

"So we need to be careful as we do this."

Asked again whether he supports Trump's executive order, McConnell said, "It's hopefully going to be decided in the courts as to whether or not this has gone too far. I don't want to criticize them for improving vetting. I think we need to be careful. We don't have religious tests in this country."

McConnell said if the purpose of the executive order is to make the vetting process stronger and more thorough, "who would be against that?"

"But I am opposed to a religious test," McConnell added. "The courts are going to determine whether this is too broad."

McConnell also said he's "against" barring people who have helped Americans in the war on terror.

"Look, the president has a lot of latitude to try to secure the country," McConnell said. "And I'm not going to make a blanket criticism of this effort. However, I think it's important to remember, as I said, a lot of Muslims are our best sources in the war against terror."

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