GOP, media put White House on sequester defensive
GOP leaders and PR officials are slamming the White House’s effort to shield itself from the decision to release hundreds of illegal immigrants from federal jail, even prior to the arrival of the sequester budget trims.
Late Wednesday afternoon, the GOP criticism stepped up their criticism of the jailhouse release, and skeptical reporters began pressing administration officials to justify their threats to various high-profile programs.
“This was a [release] decision made by career officials … without any input from the White House,” White House spokesman Jay Carney claimed during the midday press conference.
Carney reiterated the point a few moments later. “This was a decision made by career officials at ICE, without any input from the White House, as a result of fiscal uncertainty over the continuing resolution, as well as [the] possible sequester,” he insisted.
GOP flacks were unsympathetic; “1) President says he’ll let criminals loose bc of #sequester 2) His DHS does so 3) He says he knows nothing about it,” said tweet from Rory Cooper, a spokesman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
“One person has this control?” he tweeted later. “It’s ok folks. President Obama will be answering questions about the criminal release on The View next week,” he added.
Cooper also compared the release to other White House scandals, where officials denied knowledge or a role in the problems. “We didn’t know about Fast and Furious. We didn’t know about Benghazi. We didn’t know about criminal release,” Cooper said.
Top Hill Republicans continue to highlight the controversial release.