President Trump Calls For Less ‘Watered Down’ Travel Ban, Swift Supreme Court Review

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Monday emphatically referred to his executive order on immigration as a “travel ban” and said his Justice Department should not have submitted a “watered down, politically correct version” to the Supreme Court.

Trump’s suggestion that changes to the ban — which, among other things, temporarily restricts travel to the US from several Muslim-majority countries — were due to political correctness could hamper his administration’s legal argument that the executive order did not target Muslims. As a candidate, Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslim immigration to the United States, and Justice Department lawyers have gone to great lengths to avoid calling it a “travel ban” in court, referring to it as a “temporary pause” or simply “the executive order.”

In a string of tweets, Trump reiterated comments he made in light of the London terror attacks that the travel ban was necessary.

“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,” he tweeted at 6:25 a.m. ET.

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

He then tweeted: “The Justice Dept. should ask for an expedited hearing of the watered down Travel Ban before the Supreme Court – & seek much tougher version!” before adding: “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!”

Last week, the Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to allow the ban after lower courts rebuked his national security justifications for the ban multiple times.

Sen. Ben Cardin said Trump’s latest words attacking his own Justice Department revealed his true desire to use the ban to discriminate on religious grounds.

“It clearly shows his intent,” the Maryland Democrat told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day” Monday. “His lawyers try to justify it by saying it wasn’t a travel ban, but it was extreme vetting. The President made that clear. It is a travel ban.”

Legal ramifications

As Justice Department attorneys have worked to convince courts not to look at Trump’s statements in weighing the legal justifications of the travel ban, the President is not backing down — instead, he’s commenting more.

While DOJ lawyers argue that the revised ban is a significant change from the original order, Trump is minimizing the differences by calling it a “politically correct version.”

Challengers could read his statements Monday morning as intent to disfavor Muslims in the ban, a point that has doomed the executive orders in court so far. In court briefs, DOJ lawyers have said the orders are “religion-neutral” in operation, drawing “distinctions among countries based on national-security risks identified by Congress and the Executive Branch, not religion, and applies evenhandedly in the six designated countries.”

It’s also notable that the revised travel ban was authored by Trump’s administration and signed by the President himself — his Justice Department’s role is defending its legality.

Sebastian Gorka, a White House national security aide, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day” Monday in the wake of the President’s tweets that the travel ban was essential to protecting the US.

“The fact is, it’s been the same since the beginning, from the first executive order to the second executive order. It’s one thing, Chris: It’s about protecting Americans,” he said.

‘Go all the way’

At times, Trump’s administration has insisted the executive order is not a “travel ban.” In late January, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Trump had made “very clear that this is not a Muslim ban, it’s not a travel ban. It’s a vetting system to keep America safe. That’s it, plain and simple.”

Less than a week later, Trump used the term “travel ban” on Twitter, and he has referred to it as such on multiple occasions since then.

And Trump has previously complained about the revised order, which removed Iraq from the initial seven countries listed in the first ban.

“The order he blocked was a watered-down version of the first order,” Trump said at a rally in March after a judge in Hawaii blocked the second version of the ban. “I think we ought to go back to the first (ban), and go all the way.”

“That’s what I wanted to do in the first place,” he added.

Trump revived his call for the travel ban shortly after news broke of the weekend’s terror attacks in London. He was then harshly criticized when he appeared to misconstrue a statement while launching an attack on London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who said there was “no reason to be alarmed” by the visible increase in police activity in the wake of the attacks.

The President resumed his attacks on Khan Monday morning, tweeting, “Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his ‘no reason to be alarmed’ statement. MSM is working hard to sell it!”


  • Silverfish Imperetrix

    From the 1952 Immigration And Nationality Act:
    Section 212(f), states: “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”

    Obama-appointed Federal judge Derrick Watson and the 4th Circuit Court (Ruling – 10 to 3 – all ten are Clinton/Obama appointees) rulings are illegal. Behold the power of appointing activist judges to the bench. They’ll rule against the safety of America for the sake of liberalism.

  • sunny

    Trump lashing out at his down Dept of Justice this morning. He doesn’t seem to realize his tweets are hurting his case and whether the Supreme Court will even hear it. The Supreme Court is watching and I imagine asking ‘why in the hell should we even hear this case?’

    Trump supporters think he will build a wall, kick a bunch of brown people out, and most importantly, Make America “Great” Again. They hope he will get rid of Obamacare, which ironically, will hurt them the most. Under Obamacare, my pre-existing condition is insured. Before it, I struggled to make payments. Under the exchange, I pay just $200/month for health insurance. Also – My car insurance is down to $25/month (from Insurance Panda). My renters insurance is just $10/month. Under Trump, America will become too unaffordable to live in.

    Trump is either a buffoon — not good — or in service of the Russians — same. His advisors and Congress need to stop enabling and apologizing for Trump’s treasonous behavior. Congress needs to commence impeachment proceedings.

    • Real American

      I don’t care what you pay, the point is I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO PAY FOR YOU ALSO.
      Government needs to stay out of healthcare. Take up your money woes with the insurance company, not my wallet!

  • McCracken

    How is Saudi Arabia exempt from all of Trump’s proposed travel bans? The 9/11 hijackers were all Saudis, and there is some evidence to support elements of the Saudi government helping the hijackers. Oh, they buy billions in weapons, from the US, and sit on vast petroleum deposits? C’mon. I thought, the safety of American lives “trumped” everything else?

  • E

    You are pretty slow and political yourself, Mr. Trump. You are required to operate within the law as well. Present a legal plan and the courts won’t be involved.

    • Dont Mind The Facts

      Oh you mean like the original Travel Ban that was countries Obama picked, that would of and had in another version passed with no problem.
      This is nothing but anti-Trump, liberal agenda PC pushing that makes us LESS SAFE.

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