National Security

Tim Scott: Obama, Clinton Putting Nation at Risk ‘To Fulfill a Campaign Promise’

Republicans blast administration for proposed prisoner transfer from Guantanamo Bay

In this photo reviewed by the U.S. military, the sun rises above Camp Delta at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013
Guantanamo Bay Naval Base / AP

Senate Republicans blasted a proposal by the Obama administration to transfer terrorists currently held at Guantanamo Bay to prisons across the United States, saying that the plan puts "political promises ahead of national security."

Sens. Tim Scott (R., S.C.), Pat Roberts (R., Kansas), and Cory Gardner (R., Colo.) took aim at both President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a conference call on Monday.

"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," said Scott, who took issue specifically with the fact that Hanahan, S.C., is one considered landing spot for the terrorist transfers. "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."

Gardner argued that the transfer is not only a bad idea—it is also an illegal one.

"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," said Gardner, who says that current law prohibits the use of any funds to assist with the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees. "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 … Putting people on an airplane, sending them across this country, by every definition is in violation—in clear contradiction—of the law."

"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," said Roberts.