WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Pat Roberts (R-KS), Tim Scott (R-SC), and Cory Gardner (R-CO) held a press conference call today responding to President Obama and Hillary Clinton's support for unilaterally closing Guantanamo Bay and potentially bringing terrorists to the United States. Excerpts of their opening remarks and audio of the full conference call can be found below.
"As you said last week, the White House said the president would not rule out any executive action in closing GITMO and moving the remaining terrorists detained there to the mainland. Susan Rice said they would even die trying. Yet again, the president and his Administration are ignoring the American people and Congress and apparently they are going to try and rule through executive order, ignoring laws passed to block any such transfers of these terrorists.
"My colleagues Sen. Tim Scott and Sen. Cory Gardner and many others are opposed to this action. I have placed a hold on the nominee for Secretary of the Army and will consider all other legislative options available to me to block this move. The president has one year to accomplish his campaign promise. He thinks this is his legacy. Any day now the Pentagon will release a report listing the available options for housing these terrorists on American soil where they will cause a security risk to our communities.
"Now, heading into the 2016 presidential elections the American people should reject anyone that thinks this is a good idea. Americans have had enough. It’s time we elect someone we can trust to put the national security first and get off this campaign promise and this legacy of sending terrorists to the United States. Hillary Clinton is not that person."
"This is something that I just can’t get my arms around, having the administration and Secretary Clinton wanting to bring the world’s worst terrorists to a prison near you. While they have certainly identified locations to take a look at in South Carolina – Hanahan specifically – Colorado and Kansas, the fact of the matter is that they are still looking nationwide for locations to bring 50 or more enemy combatants to be placed near American citizens. And the objective that Secretary Clinton and President Obama share is to fulfill a campaign promise and by doing so they have put our nation at risk. Period."
"It’s clear that President Obama will continue to place political promises ahead of national security, with the approval of Secretary Clinton. Hillary Clinton approves of the political promise to be fulfilled over the wishes and over the security of the American people.
"My concern with this approach by the president, is yet another instance where the president has decided to ignore the plain letter of the law. If you look at the law, whether it’s the continuing resolution or the Defense Authorization Act, both of them contain provisions prohibiting the expenditure of money – expenditure of funds – to transfer Guantanamo Bay detainees and to – and I’ll use the word – assist in the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees. Now, sending a team of scouts to look for a new location for Guantanamo Bay detainees is by any definition assisting in the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees. Finding preferable locations for a campaign promise is assisting in the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees. Putting people on an airplane, sending them across this country, by every definition is in violation – in clear contradiction – of the law.
"It’s clear though that in recent weeks we have seen decisions made by this president that Hillary Clinton agrees with and it’s becoming clearer and clearer that the only pipeline Hillary Clinton will ever support is the pipeline of executive orders usurping the role of Congress.”
Click here for the full audio.
National Defense Terrorism