Prominent conservative Bill Kristol praises Democrat Seth Moulton for speaking out against Trump refugee ban

03/23/2016  BOSTON    Globe reporter Josh Miller (cq) (left) interviews Congressman Seth Moulton (cq) at Suffolk University in Boston.   (Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe)
Congressman Seth Moulton pictured last March at Suffolk University in Boston. –Aram Boghosian / The Boston Globe

Rep. Seth Moulton found a perhaps unexpected ally Sunday in his outspoken criticism of President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning refugees from entering the United States.

Bill Kristol, founder of the conservative magazine The Weekly Standard and a prominent Republican, said in a tweet Sunday that it was the Massachusetts Democrat, who spoke for him in opposing the ban, rather than GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Trump’s order bans refugees from entering the United States for 120 days, indefinitely suspends refugees from Syria from entering the United States, and blocks citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the country for 90 days. It also effectively prioritizes Christian refugees over Muslims refugees.

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In a statement Friday, Moulton said the executive action made him “ashamed [Trump] is our president.”

“His policies literally put our troops’ lives at risk—I’ve heard this loud and clear when I have visited them overseas,” said Moulton, a Salem resident and Iraq War veteran. “They also prove he has zero understanding of our country’s values and no intention of defending our Constitution.”

In an interview Sunday morning, Moulton told ABC News’ Martha Raddatz that Trump’s so-called Muslim ban was “fundamentally unAmerican.” He also said it made Americans less safe, because ISIS could use the order to radicalize sympathizers.

“There’s nothing in his executive order that improves the vetting process,” he said. “He’s just putting across a blanket ban that will be used against us.

Appearing on the same show Sunday morning, McConnell told Raddatz he thought it was generally a good idea to tighten the vetting process, but said he thought it was “important to remember that some of our best sources in the war against radical Islamic terrorism are Muslims, both in this country and overseas.” But the top Senate Republican refrained from condemning Trump’s executive action.

“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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Kristol, who has been a longtime critic of Trump, followed up his aforementioned tweet by calling for more Republicans to stand up to Trump on the order, which resulted in widespread confusion and protest over the weekend.

In turn, Moulton thanked Kristol for his support and called for a bipartisan effort against Trump’s immigration order.

Indeed, several Republicans — particularly Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham — have questioned the effectiveness of Trump’s order. But, according to a count by Vox.com, it is a small minority of the GOP’s membership in Congress.

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