Transcript: Sen. Chuck Schumer’s remarks on Acting Attorney General Sally Yates’s termination
Partial transcript of Sen. Chuck Schumer’s (D-New York) floor speech on Acting Attorney General Sally Yates’s termination after she refused to defend President Donald Trump’s refugee and Muslim ban on Jan. 30, 2017:
…We had a Monday night massacre. Sally Yates, a person of great integrity who follows the law, was fired by the president. She was fired because she would not enact, pursue the executive order on the belief that it was illegal, perhaps unconstitutional.
It was a profile in courage. It was a brave act and a right act.
And I hope the president and his people who are in the White House learn something from this.
First, that we are a nation that’s a rule of law and you just can’t sit down, twitter something out, and then think, “Okay, let’s enact it.”
This is a complicated country, and when you do something as major as what the president proposed in his executive order, you’ve got to think it through, you’ve got to talk to people.
Sally Yates was the Acting Attorney General. Why wasn’t she consulted? Maybe they would have known what she felt and maybe they would not have done what they did.
And clearly that lack of consultation went up and down the line.
Sally Yates is from a different administration. General [John] Kelly was President Trump’s selection. He learned of this executive order when he got a phone call from the White House while he saw it being announced on television.
How can you run a country like that?
I’m hearing from my constituents in New York. They are hardcore Trump supporters; they’re for him but they’re a small minority of New Yorkers.
There are many, many progressive liberal pro-immigrant people. Obviously, they’re horrified.
But I would say this to the president-elect and his minions. There are a lot of people who voted for President Trump, not the hardcore, and they are appalled by the simple ineptitude of this administration.
Substantively is even more important. How can you run a country like this? How can you take a major order, major doing and not check it out with your Homeland Security Secretary, with your Justice Department and the Attorney General?
I would say, Mr. President, if this continues, this country has big trouble.
We cannot have a Twitter presidency. We cannot have a presidency that thinks, “Oh, this sounds good. Let’s just go do it” and not think the consequences through. And most of all, we cannot have a presidency that doesn’t understand the beauty and depth of America, in this case, when it comes to immigrants…