Texas Politics

Kay Granger talked immigration, Russia and McCain’s death. But only to a select group

U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, spoke to people after speaking to a crowd gathered for the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce’s Leaders in Government speaker series at the Petroleum Club.
U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, spoke to people after speaking to a crowd gathered for the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce’s Leaders in Government speaker series at the Petroleum Club. atinsley@star-telegram.com

U.S. Rep. Kay Granger received more feedback from constituents this year — from those angry about immigrant parents and children being separated at the U.S. border — than on nearly any other issue during her time in office.

In the first three months this year alone, she said Wednesday, three times the number of people who normally try to enter the United States were illegally crossing the border.

“We have to secure our borders. We have to know who’s coming across our borders,” Granger, R-Fort Worth, said during a Chamber of Commerce Leaders in Government Luncheon at the Petroleum Club. “But we don’t have to do it in a way that brought more letters (than) on any issue I’ve ever seen.

“People (were) saying, ‘How dare you take children away, ... out of their parents’ arms and put them someplace. We were all hurt by that. The pictures were just terrible.”

There was a national outcry this summer, as protests were held outside Granger’s office and across the country by those calling on President Donald Trump and his administration to reunite those children with their parents.

Protests are held every week outside Granger’s office, by those trying to draw her attention. Many criticize Granger, who faces Democrat Vanessa Adia in November’s midterm election, for not holding public town hall meetings.

“Indivisible FWTX remains open to the possibility of a Town Hall with Rep. Kay Granger,” said Kris Savage, founder of Indivisible FWTX, a grassroots protest movement. “However, since it’s been more than 10 years since she has held one in public, Indivisible FWTX members have become fully engaged in many local campaigns.”

Luncheon organizers Wednesday said Granger would take questions from the audience. But at the end of her speech, they said she already answered all of the questions attendees had written down.

Granger talked about the military and defense funding. Here’s a look at some other topics she addressed.

Granger on Russia

She mentioned the Russia trip she took in July with other high-ranking Republicans to express, as she said at the time, “grave concerns” about Russia’s potential involvement in U.S. elections.

National Democrats at the time said the trip was to give an olive branch to “enemies and adversaries” of the United States.

“The reason we were going to Russia (was) to see for ourselves what’s happening there,” Granger said Wednesday. “What is the relationship?”

She also said she and other Republicans wanted “to confront them that they interfered in our elections and to talk to them about sanctions.”

She said the talks were “ugly conversations” and noted that they told Russian leaders that if there was more election interference, the “sanctions would hurt a lot more.”

“It was very heated,” she said. “But we put things on the table. They put some things on the table that they disagree with us about.”

Granger on John McCain

Granger said she’s going to the funeral for U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona on Saturday.

She said the two worked together with the International Republican Institute.

And she said she wishes that people would honor people like McCain while they are alive.

“He’s a man almost unlike any,” she said. “Let’s don’t just honor them when they die.”

Anna Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley


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