I may not even attempt to verify or invalidate this claim, since it reeks of BS from the jump. Here we go, from Politico:
Hill staffers secretly worked on Trump's immigration order
Several House Judiciary Committee aides helped craft the controversial directive without telling Republican leaders.
Shh, don't tell your boss! Really?!? Because everyone knows the best way to get ahead in Washington is to keep your boss out of the loop. Let me press on:
Senior staffers on the House Judiciary Committee helped Donald Trump's top aides draft the executive order curbing immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations, but the Republican committee chairman and party leadership were not informed, according to multiple sources involved in the process.
The news of their involvement helps unlock the mystery of whether the White House consulted Capitol Hill about the executive order, one of many questions raised in the days after it was unveiled on Friday. It confirms that the small group of staffers were among the only people on Capitol Hill who knew of the looming controversial policy.
This reeks of "implausible deniability". Would we really be reading this "Who, me?" coverage if the roll-out had been a success? We'll never know!
Kathryn Rexrode, the House Judiciary Committee’s communications director, declined to comment about the aides’ work. A Judiciary Committee aide said Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) was not "consulted by the administration on the executive order."
No, they consulted Goodlatte's aides so he could stay at arms-length in what he thought were the early discussions. And BTW, since Starbucks is hiring Goodlatte has a secure future, yes?
"Like other congressional committees, some staff of the House Judiciary Committee were permitted to offer their policy expertise to the Trump transition team about immigration law," a House Judiciary Committee aide said in a statement. "However, the Trump Administration is responsible for the final policy decisions contained in the executive order and its subsequent roll-out and implementation.”
So we knew our guys and gals were working on it but we weren't involved. Fine, whatever.
The work of the committee aides began during the transition period after the election and before Donald Trump was sworn in. The staffers signed nondisclosure agreements, according to two sources familiar with the matter. Trump's transition operation forced its staff to sign these agreements, but it would be unusual to extend that requirement to congressional employees. Rexrode declined to comment on the nondisclosure pacts.
"Declined to comment" because there was no good way to transcribe her muffled laughter. What would have been in the House non-disclosure agreement - "If you tip your boss off on the down-low we'll see you in court". Sure, that will work nicely as part of the innovative new White House approach to Congressional outreach. Or maybe they threatened to fire the chattier staffers. Oh, wait - they don't work for the White House!
It’s extremely rare for administration officials to circumvent Republican leadership and work directly with congressional committee aides. But the House Judiciary Committee has some of the most experienced staffers when it comes to immigration policy.
So "extremely rare" that I am sure it did not happen here.
That said, there is no question the roll-out was botched both within the Executive Branch and with Congress:
GOP leaders received no advance warning or briefings from the White House or Judiciary staff on what the executive order would do or how it would be implemented — briefings they still had not received as of Sunday night. Leaders including Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) only saw the final language when reporters received it Friday night, according to multiple Hill sources.
Rather, Republicans on the Hill spent the entire weekend scrambling to find out what was going on, who was involved and how it was that they were caught so flat-footed.
"Their coordination with the Hill was terrible," said one senior GOP source on the Hill, who seemed flabbergasted that congressional Republicans didn’t receive talking points from the White House on the executive order until late Saturday night, about 24 hours after President Donald Trump signed it. “We didn't see the final language until it was actually out.”
My guess is that the earnest toilers amongst the House staff were not a lot more looped-in than their bosses and were probably as surprised as anyone by the final product, and especially by the rushed manner of its presentation. Just for example, it is inconceivable to me that anyone with the Washington experience of these staffers would have encouraged a roll-out plan that excluded input from DHS, State, the Senate and the House. Yet here we are.
My guess - the staffers were lent out as sherpas to smooth the trail and the House leadership figured the heavy hitters would be brought in as the issue ripened. Instead, the White House surprised everyone with this own-goal.
Trump is working the fine line between "autocracy" and "autocrazy". Sad!