Fmr. AG Barr: Trump Risks U.S. Credibility in Rejecting Australian Refugee Deal

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Trump's Australian refugee deal dilemma

Bill Barr, former U.S. Attorney General under Bush 41, on the risks President Trump faces over the Obama refugee deal with Australia.

President Trump found himself in a heated exchange on Saturday with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over a deal reached during the Obama administration to harbor 1,500 refugees living on islands off the mainland of the ally nation.

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Trump appeared to waver in his support for the agreement, even tweeting Wednesday that it was a "dumb deal,"  but later agreed to honor it. Former Bush 41 U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr addressed the agreement on the FOX Business Network's Cavuto: Coast to Coast.

“I think he definitely should keep it,” said Barr.  

He went on to add, however, that he agrees with President Trump’s reasoning for being skeptical.

“This is a group of people who have been rejected by Australia, and Obama stepped in and said, ‘OK, we’ll take them.’ And, does that mean from now on that countries that don’t take refugees, the United States is going to step in and take those refugees, or this just a one shot deal that we negotiated with Australia?” said Barr.

“I think what the President is trying to do is lay down a marker that this is not going to be our modus operandi moving forward. We’re not going to come in as the people who sort of sweep up and take all the refugees that other people don’t want to take.”

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The former Attorney General also gave his thoughts on Trump’s executive order on immigration, which has sparked protests throughout the country.  

“The law couldn’t be clearer, and it’s always been the case that the president can suspend immigration from any country or group of countries or group of aliens or all aliens if he felt it posed a threat to the United States – that’s his constitutional duty and it's explicit in the statutes, so I think he was clearly on safe ground doing this.”

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