Gates Defends Trump’s Use of Executive Orders

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates defended President Trump's use of executive orders on Sunday when ABC's Martha Raddatz pushed him on the president's number of executive actions.

Raddatz first asked Gates whether he had "absolute confidence" in Trump as commander in chief.

"It's one week in. I think that's a little early," Gates said before Raddatz interjected.

"It's a big week. A lot of executive orders," she said.

Gates said that Raddatz needed "a little perspective" and pointed out that past presidential administrations began with a "flurry" of executive orders.

"I think we need a little perspective, Martha. I mean, every administration I worked for begins with a flurry of executive orders overturning what their predecessors did, or amplifying it in the case of the first president Bush, so let's just give him a little time," Gates said.

"I do worry about the impact of this executive order in terms of the way it's received around the world," he added.

Gates' concern came from an executive order that Trump signed on Friday that halts refugee admission into the United States, which has sparked outrage and protests around the U.S. at various airports.

"Trump's executive order, issued Friday, has many elements, but its main features include an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees, a halt to all refugee admissions to the United States, and the temporary suspension of all visa holders from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Libya," Politico reported.

Gates served as secretary of defense for two years during the George W. Bush Bush administration, before President Obama kept him on for another two years during his administration. He also served as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency during the elder Bush's administration.