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Political Notebook: Noseworthy talked to White House officials about travel ban

Mayo Clinic CEO Dr. John Noseworthy defended the clinic’s response to President Trump’s travel ban in a recent interview.

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Dr. John Noseworthy
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Mayo Clinic CEO Dr. John Noseworthy defended the clinic's response to President Donald Trump's travel ban during a recent interview.

Noseworthy appeared on Twin Cities Public Television's public affairs show "Almanac" on Friday. During the interview, he was asked about Mayo's response to Trump's executive order, which suspended the nation's refugee program and bans people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. The 9th U.S. Court of Appeals recently upheld a restraining order on the travel ban.

Almanac host Cathy Wurzer asked Noseworthy, "The Mayo was criticized about being a little mild on the president's immigration order. What do you say to that criticism?"

Noseworthy responded that he brought up the travel ban when he met with White House officials last week about veterans' health care.

"When I was with the administration on Tuesday, they heard our message that America requires this global talent pool, particularly in science and medicine, but in many sectors," he said.

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Noseworthy added that he told representatives of the Trump administration, "we could have signed a petition, written a letter; we could have gone on television. That's not Mayo's style. We'd rather work with them to try to support our patients and support our staff. That's the way we do things."

Lewis' take

Also weighing in on Trump's immigration executive order on "Almanac" was 2nd District Republican Rep. Jason Lewis. He said he is not pleased with how the ban was rolled out and that it affected people with green cards. But he said it also is important to take steps to protect America from extremists.

If an individual is "recruited out of Minnesota and they go to Syria or Somalia or any place and become radicalized, it's probably a good idea to prevent them from coming back in. I think that's a reasonable position," Lewis said.

Trump has indicated he may revise his executive order or pass a new one this week. The administration also has the option of appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court to lift the restraining order.

Klobuchar on Gorsuch

Minnesota DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar paid a visit to Claremont's Al-Corn Clean Fuel ethanol plant on Friday. During her stop, my colleague Brita Moore asked her about Trump's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court — Judge Neil Gorsuch. Klobuchar met with Gorsuch earlier in the week.

Klobuchar didn't indicate whether she would be willing to vote for Gorsuch, saying it is still early in the process of vetting the nominee.

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"We're still getting questions answered in writing, and then we'll have those major televised hearings and the chance for the public to hear from him," she said.

Klobuchar added, "I continue to have concerns about some of his past opinions on campaign finance, which is near and dear to my heart after the Citizens United decision has really blown a hole in our campaign finance laws. Already we have so much outside money. I'll continue to raise questions."

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