Trump bluntly discards own administration’s ‘travel ban’ position

President Trump (Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
President Trump (Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Contradicting White House officials and the Justice Department, President Trump continued to state that his executive order on immigration was a “travel ban” in the wake of terrorist attacks in London.

“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!” wrote Trump in a series of tweets Monday morning.

“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!”

Trump began touting the need for a “ban” on Saturday night as London law enforcement officials were responding to the attack that killed seven and left 40 injured. He also criticized the Justice Department — whose officials he appoints — for submitting a “watered down, politically correct version” of the executive order to the Supreme Court. Trump signed the “watered down” text into law after his initial executive order restricting immigration was struck down in lower courts. Trump then chose to issue a new, altered order instead of taking the original order to the Supreme Court.

The second order was also struck down. Last week the Trump administration filed a petition with the Supreme Court to reverse rulings striking down the second executive order, which restricts immigration from six majority-Muslim countries for 90 days.

Along with attacking his own lawyers, Trump also undermined White House officials who had explicitly and repeatedly argued that the immigration order was not “a travel ban.”

“He’s also made very clear that this is not a Muslim ban, it’s not a travel ban, it’s a vetting system to keep Americans safe,” said press secretary Sean Spicer in a briefing earlier this year. “That’s it.”

“It’s not a travel ban, remember,” Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly told Fox News on May 28. “It’s the travel pause. What the president said, for 90 days, we were going to pause in terms of people from those countries coming to the United States that would give me time to look at additional vetting.”

Meanwhile, some of the people spearheading lawsuits against Trump’s executive order hailed the commander in chief’s Monday Twitter flurry.

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