NEW INFORMATION: Walker backs Trump on travel ban

Published: Jan. 30, 2017 at 9:50 AM CST
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Gov. Scott Walker is backing President Donald Trump's travel ban affecting seven mostly Muslim countries.

Walker had been silent on the ban issued Friday until his spokesman released a statement Monday afternoon. Walker says, "This is a safety issue. A resettlement program to help refugees is compassionate and one that I support, but we should ensure we are doing everything possible to put the safety of our citizens first."

Walker had previously opposed Trump's proposal as a presidential candidate in December 2015 to ban all Muslims from entering the country. Last month Walker sent Trump a letter asking the federal government for more control over accepting refugees from countries with ties to terrorism "until we are comfortable with the vetting process that is being utilized to screen these individuals."

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The top two elected Republicans in Wisconsin have previously criticized President Donald Trump for proposing a Muslim ban as a candidate.

But Gov. Scott Walker and U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson did not immediately return messages Monday seeking reaction to Trump's executive order banning refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Trump has insisted that the order he signed is not a ban on Muslims entering the country but is instead a measure designed to keep the country safe.

Trump's order includes a 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. by citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen, and a 120-day suspension of the U.S. refugee program.

The president was applauded by House Speaker Paul Ryan, who says it is "time to re-evaluate and strengthen the visa-vetting process."