GOP Senate candidate Joni Ernst of Iowa said Sunday she is resigning after she said President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration would not be enforceable because it was a “stupid” order.
Ernst’s remarks came during a news conference with Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) where she also said she was quitting her bid for reelection in 2018.
“I’m resigning from the Senate,” Ernst said.
“It’s a stupid executive order.
It doesn’t work.”
Murray, meanwhile, said Ernst’s statement was not a “statement of policy,” and that Ernst’s decision was based on “deep personal disappointment.”
The former presidential candidate said she had met with members of the president’s cabinet, and that her family has “lost confidence in the executive order.”
She also said that she will not vote for Trump in 2020, though she is not expected to challenge him for the GOP nomination.
“She said the president doesn’t have the legal authority to make these decisions, and I agree with her on that,” Murray said.
Murray, a tea party favorite, has become a rising star in the GOP and a favorite of Trump.
The senator, a freshman who won the Iowa caucuses last year, was the first female candidate for the Senate from a Republican state.
She has previously criticized Trump’s immigration policies, saying the order would not make America safer.
Murray also said Sunday that Trump’s order would have been a “massive failure” and would have prevented her family from attending the wedding of her husband’s cousin, and she will be working to overturn the order.
“We will take every opportunity to take action on immigration reform,” she said.
Trump’s announcement in February that he would ban all Syrian refugees from entering the United States sparked protests across the country and widespread condemnation from civil rights groups and politicians.
The order has been condemned by some civil rights leaders and celebrities, including the stars of The Black-ish and Arrested Development.
Trump also said on Friday that the ban would take effect from March 5.
The White House said Sunday it will appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.
The Justice Department on Friday filed a brief in the case that said the order violated the First Amendment, due process and due process of law, as well as the constitutional protections of due process.
The filing was the latest move in a legal fight between the Justice Department and the Trump administration, which has defended the president.
In an interview with Fox News Sunday, Murray said she would not take a position on the executive orders but that she believed it was wrong to try to overturn them.
“You’re not going to stop an executive order when you don’t know whether it’s constitutional,” Murray told host Chris Wallace.
“This is about people being able to come into the country.
We have a lot of people here who are here who want to do good.
So it’s a very complicated issue.”
Murray also defended the actions of some members of Trump’s Cabinet, saying some of them are “good people.”
“Some of them don’t like the order, but they’re trying to do the right thing,” she added.
“That’s the way we’ve got to move forward.
We’ve got a lot to work on.
We need to get through this.”
Murray has been on the Trump-backed White House’s short list to be Trump’s secretary of labor, which is being vacated by Secretary Alexander Acosta.
She is a member of the administration’s economic advisory council and has been a leading critic of Trump, calling him “unqualified” and “dangerous.”
She has also criticized Trump for not doing enough to address the opioid crisis and said the administration is “out of control” and that the “national debt is more than $20 trillion.”