The White House defended Alejandro Mayorkas, former director of U.S. Customs and Immigration Services, one day after a damaging Inspector General report emerged showing he gave favored projects to Democratic officials. (RELATED: DHS Official Gave Special Favors To Hillary Clinton’s Brother)
During Wednesday’s White House briefing, press secretary Josh Earnest called Mayorkas a “decorated public servant,” even though the IG report released Tuesday showed the DHS official gave special treatment to the likes of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Tony Rodham, the brother of Hillary Clinton.
“Mr. Mayorkas is still at the Department of Homeland Security because he is a decorated public servant and an effective leader of that organization,” Earnest said when asked why Mayorkas remained at the department. “[W]e certainly value the kind of contribution that he has made to the effect of management at the department and he has played an important role in implementing needed reforms in that department.”
Fox News’ Ed Henry pushed back against Earnest’s statement, asking the spokesman again why Mayorkas continues to retain his job after he “was going around the normal channels” and “career officials” to make sure Clinton’s brother and other Democratic officials were taken care of.
“To be clear, Ed, the Inspector General, who, as you point out, did take a close and independent look at this, did not suggest that these individuals weren’t deserving of a visa,” Earnest said. “What he suggested is merely that the process didn’t work very well. And frankly, that’s exactly the problem that…”
“The report says special access and favoritism,” Henry retorted.
“Right, and what I’m telling you is, Ed, that the questions that were raised were about how effective this EB-5 visa process works, and these are exactly the problems that Deputy Secretary Mayorkas was trying to address, and there are additional forms that are needed, and there will be additional reforms implemented.”