The Corner

Jeh Johnson Really Doesn’t Like It When You Quote President Obama’s Past Claims about Amnesty

There’s one source in the current debate over President Obama’s executive amnesty that Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson doesn’t like Republican congressmen quoting, and even considers “suspicious”: President Obama himself.

Johnson argued that the sound bites Republicans have quoted, in which the president claimed he didn’t have the ability to curtail deportations, are “suspicious” and must have been taken out of context. 

The secretary testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security Tuesday, discussing the White House’s unilateral immigration action.

“The president said over 20 times that he did not have the legal authority to take this executive action, and that this is not how democracy works,” said GOP chairman Mike McCaul. “Do you agree with that prior statement?”

“Chairman, I know from 30 years as a lawyer that when someone paraphrases remarks from somebody, I want to see the full Q&A, I want to see the full context,” Johnson responded.

Utah congressman Jason Chaffetz later asked whether Johnson believed the White House had “changed the law” on immigration, as the president said recently — a charge Johnson denied.

When Chaffetz played a video clip of the president saying those words, the secretary became visibly annoyed. “Listen, I’ve been a lawyer 30 years,” he said. “Somebody plays me an eight-word excerpt from a broader speech, I know it to be suspicious. Okay? That was very nice.”

The hearing room erupted in laughter following the secretary’s defense.

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