Acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli maintained that there’s no issue with his position at the agency during an interview on “Fox and Friends” Monday morning.
On Sunday, a federal judge in Washington, D.C. ruled that Cuccinelli was unlawfully appointed as the acting director of USCIS last year. Citing the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, Judge Randolph Moss wrote in the ruling that Cuccinelli’s newly created title by the Trump administration failed to satisfy the necessary legal standard and lacked “any substance.”
After telling “Fox and Friends” hosts that the ruling is an “outlier,” Cuccinelli was asked by co-host Ainsley Earhardt about whether the method has been used by Republicans and Democrats for years. Earhardt also pointed out that Moss was appointed by former President Barack Obama.
Cuccinelli responded that “various aspects of appointment have been used” before going on a tangent about how the Trump administration is frustrated with Democrats blocking Senate confirmations.
“The Trump administration has been somewhat frustrated with how long it takes to get people through the Senate,” Cuccinelli said, referring to the Federal Vacancies Reform Act cited within Moss’ decision. “That Democrats in the Senate have imposed a record number of blocks on those nominees.”
Cuccinelli added that Democrats have “really tied the hands of the administration,” causing the Trump administration to “use things like the Vacancies Act and these alternatives that are legal.”
“They’re just less preferential to getting a full Senate appointment,” Cuccinelli said. “But that’s the way the President has been forced to play the game.”
Co-host Brian Kilmeade chimed in, saying that “we’ve got to fix that” and regardless of who the next President is, “this is a joke.”
Watch Cuccinelli’s remarks below:
Cuccinelli goes on tangent about Democrats blocking Senate confirmations pic.twitter.com/181wttCUIB
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) March 2, 2020