Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., offered his tepid support on Sunday for President Trump’s executive ban on Syrian refugees, noting that the new administration needs to “be careful” as it looks to curb immigration to the United States.

“I don’t want to criticize them for improving vetting,” McConnell told ABC’s Martha Raddatz, adding that he opposes a religious test for U.S.-bound immigrants.

Trump halted acceptance of Syrian refugees and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – with the stroke of his pen on Friday. The executive order also called for the State Department and Homeland Security secretary to develop exhaustive new measures to vet immigrants seeking to enter the United States.

A federal judge in New York blocked part of the order on Saturday, which would have allowed the government to deport hundreds of refugees who had just arrived at airports across the country.

“It’s going to be decided in the courts as to whether or not this has gone too far,” McConnell said of Trump’s actions.

“The president has a lot of latitude to try to secure the country and I’m not going to make a blanket criticism of this effort,” he continued. “However, I think it’s important to remember that a lot of Muslims are our best sources in the war against terror.”

Trump defends immigration order: 'Our country needs strong borders'

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In a Sunday morning tweet, the president signaled he will fight to keep the executive order in place.

01/29/17 9:02 AM



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