Gillibrand: I'm running for Senate, not White House

Gillibrand: I'm running for Senate, not White House
Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandTrump's DOJ gears up for crackdown on marijuana OPINION | Hey Dems, Russia won't define 2018, so why not fix your party's problems instead? Dems see huge field emerging to take on Trump MORE (D-N.Y.) insisted in an interview broadcast Sunday that her focus is on running for reelection to the Senate, not for the White House in 2020. 
 
“No, I am running for Senate. I’m running for Senate in 2018,” Gillibrand told radio host John Catsimatidis, who asked her about "rumors" that she is considering a White House run.

“I really love my job and I feel like I can make a huge difference for New Yorkers, fighting for them," she said.

It is common for politicians to deflect questions about running for president, particularly when another race is coming up sooner.

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Gillibrand, who has served in the Senate since 2009, has been floated as a potential contender for the Democratic nomination both before and after the 2016 election.

The New York senator has been an outspoken critic of many of President Trump’s Cabinet nominees and was the lone senator who voted against retired Gen. James Mattis for secretary of Defense.

Gillibrand voted to confirm Nikki Haley for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations but is the only senator who has voted against eight Trump nominees.

"Unfortunately, a lot of these nominees are either ill-prepared or inexperienced or really on the very, very far right ideologically. And so, for most of them, I voted 'no,' ” she said in the radio interview.

Gillibrand characterizes Trump’s travel ban as a “Muslim ban,” and said it is not in line with American values.

"What we’re saying is a ban on all Muslims and countries that are Muslim countries and identifying people by their country of origin is outside of what we’ve done in the past, is very extreme, is excluding a whole swath of people we want here,” she said, adding that translators and green-card holders with visas should be allowed into the U.S.

Trump on Jan. 27 issued an executive order calling for a 90-day ban on nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries entering the United States. The order also called for a 120-day ban on admitting refugees and an indefinite halt on admitting refugees from war-torn Syria.

A federal judge has since put a nationwide halt on the travel ban, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit refused to reinstate Trump's ban on Thursday as the administration weighs its next steps.

Gillibrand argued that the president overreached on issuing the initial order.

“But that order was so expensive and so extreme that it has created turmoil,” she said.

 

This report was updated at 12:05 p.m.