Trump: 'I Am Calling It What We Need and What It Is, a TRAVEL BAN'

Susan Jones | June 5, 2017 | 8:00am EDT
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President Trump at the Arab Islamic-American Summit in Saudi Arabia, May 21,2017. (Screen Capture)

( – In four tweets on Monday morning, President Donald Trump doubled down on his “travel ban” and criticized his own Justice Department for watering down the original ban – out of political correctness, he said.

The four tweets, printed below, started coming at 6:30 a.m.

-- “People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN.

-- The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C.”

--The Justice Dept. should ask for an expedited hearing of the watered down Travel Ban before the Supreme Court - & seek much tougher version!

--In any event, we are EXTREME VETTING people coming into the U.S. in order to help keep our country safe. The courts are slow and political!”

As reported, at least two Trump administration officials in late January rejected the phrase “travel ban.”

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on January 31 said President Trump’s first executive order stopping immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries for 90 days was “a temporary pause,” “not a travel ban.”

“I’d like to clarify that the most recent executive order does—what it does and does not mean. This is not a travel ban” Kelly said on Jan. 31. “This is a temporary pause that allows us to better review the existing refugee and visa vetting system.”

Kelly also said the order was not a “ban on Muslims,” as critics insist that it is.

On the same day, Trump spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters at the White House briefing, “It's not a travel ban. …What it is is to make sure that the people who are coming in are vetted properly from seven countries that were identified by the Obama administration. A ban would mean people can't get in. We've clearly seen hundreds of thousands of people come into our country from other countries.”

The travel ban issue returned to the headlines on Saturday, when President Trump tweeted after the terror attack in London: “We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!”

The original travel ban, issued by executive order on Jan. 27, applied to seven countries (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen).

A district court in Washington immediately blocked enforcement of the ban nationwide, and a few weeks later, a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to lift that injunction pending appeal.

On March 6, the Trump administration issued a revised executive order, removing Iraq from the list of countries, among other changes.

But on March 16, a federal judge in Maryland put Trump’s second order on hold, and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that injunction.

Last week, the Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to review the judgment of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) told CNN on Monday that a travel ban will not make Americans safer – it will serve as a recruitment tool for terrorists. He said Trump’s ban is really a “religious test against Muslims.”

Rep. Scott Taylor (R-Va.) said regardless of what the order is called, it doesn’t change the legality of it. “I think it’s responsible to look at some of these countries and have tougher vetting in there,” Taylor told CNN on Monday.

Taylor added that he does not believe in “targeting Muslims,” but from a legal standpoint, he believes the Supreme Court will uphold Trump’s ban.

The Justice Department says President Trump’s travel ban “is well within his lawful authority to keep the nation safe.”

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