Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, an outspoken critic of the Trump administration, said Friday it felt “really good” to be targeted by the White House over his immigration policy.
“You should probably be known by your enemies,” Malloy said at POLITICO’s annual State Solutions Conference.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer blasted Malloy on Thursday, saying the Connecticut governor “chooses not to follow the duly passed laws of this nation” after Malloy told the state police they should not take action “solely to enforce federal immigration law.”
“Whether you’re a governor or mayor or the president, laws are passed in this country and we expect people and our lawmakers and our law enforcement agencies to follow and adhere to the laws as passed by the appropriate level of government,” Spicer said.
Malloy fired back, criticizing the Trump administration, even making a joke about the size of Trump’s hands.
“I think Sean misses the point, and clearly had not read a single phrase of the advisory I sent out,” Malloy said. “I think they just don’t get it and they rushed to judgment.”
The Democratic governor referenced a law the state passed in 2013 setting guidelines about how the state would interact with ICE.
“The president can’t trump that,” Malloy said. “You can’t, by waving a magic wand or signing a decree in crayon, change the law of the state that you are otherwise trying to give direction to.”
Malloy said the administration has proven it is unable to learn from its mistakes.
“If you didn’t learn anything on Jan. 27 when you issued an unconstitutional executive order, if that didn’t teach you anything, you’re unlikely to be taught anything under any circumstances,” he said.