Outgoing White House chief of staff John Kelly says he was surprised by US President Donald Trump’s so-called Muslim ban despite his full-throated defense in the early days of the administration.
“I had very little opportunity to look at them,” before the orders were announced, Kelly acknowledged in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
Trump issued an executive order shortly after taking office in January 2017 to suspend the entire US refugee program for 120 days and bar travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
“Obviously, it brought down a greater deal of thunder on the president.” said Kelly, referencing nationwide protests held to decry Trump’s crackdown.
He noted that former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s decision to impose a “zero tolerance” immigration policy at the border was equally surprising to him.
Sessions’s measure resulted in separation of children from their…