White House press secretary Sean Spicer had a stern message for State Department employees opposed to President Trump's executive order banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries: “Either get with the program or they can go.”
Dozens of career diplomats have signed on to a “dissent channel” document, which is a mechanism by which State Department employees can express policy disagreements privately without fear of retribution. The memo has been circulating in the agency and it expresses the view that the immigration ban “will not achieve its aim of making our country safer.”
Asked to respond to the document, Spicer suggested that the “career bureaucrats” who disagreed with the executive order should not continue to serve in the government.
“This is about the safety of America, and there’s a reason that a majority of Americans agree with the president,” Spicer said. “They should understand it’s his number one priority.”
Asked to clarify whether he was suggesting that public servants who disagree with the president should leave their posts, Spicer doubled down.
“If somebody has a problem with that agenda, then that does call into question whether ... they should continue in that post or not,” Spicer said. “I know the president appreciates the people who serve this nation and the public servants.
“That’s up to them to question whether or not they want to stay,” he added.