SYRACUSE (WRVO) - Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) is weighing in on President Donald Trump’s new travel ban, which temporary suspends the visa process for six majority-Muslim nations and refugees. And Katko also has an opinion about the claim that Trump's phone was wiretapped during the 2016 campaign.
Katko said he is heartened that Trump consulted with his cabinet and issued a far more measured response than the travel ban ordered in January, which was blocked by federal judges.
“Is it perfect?" Katko asked. "No. Is he trying to keep us safe? Yes. We have an obligation to keep our citizens safe. Taking care of refugees follows that. I think we can do both if we get the vetting process right.”
The Republican said the 120-day moratorium was issued because the intelligence community said the Obama administration cut corners on the vetting process.
“It doesn't mean they are banned forever," Katko said. "It just means that certain countries that are high risk countries, that we make sure we're not cutting corners. ISIS and al-Qaeda are trying to infiltrate the west through the refugee process. Sadly, they were successful in doing that in Paris and in Brussels and hundreds of people are dead because of it. We don’t want that to happen here.”
On Trumps’s claim that Obama wiretapped his phone during the campaign last year, Katko said when it comes to wiretapping, there is a process, a paper trail and it can be proven quickly.
“I think it’s incumbent upon the head of the Department of Justice and the president to show us the proof that there was a wiretap," Katko said. "If there is, I have some serious concerns. If there is not, let’s move on."
Katko said if it did not happen, then it is a distraction from many other big issues facing Congress.
Katko represents the 24th Congressional District, which includes Onondaga, Cayuga and Wayne counties and part of Oswego County.