In a perplexing series of Twitter comments before 7 a.m. on Monday, Trump criticized his presidential order for a ban on visitors from six Muslim-majority countries – falsely claiming the Justice Department, not him, issued this revised policy.
The president of the United States is now attacking his own policy.
In a perplexing series of Twitter comments before 7 a.m. on Monday, Donald Trump criticized his presidential order for a ban on visitors from six Muslim-majority countries – falsely claiming the Justice Department, not him, issued this revised policy.
“The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C.,” Trump wrote, referring to the Supreme Court.
“The Justice Dept. should ask for an expedited hearing of the watered down Travel Ban before the Supreme Court – & seek much tougher version!” he continued.
The tweets could possibly harm his chances of winning in court.
His administration has been attempting to convince federal judges that the ban is a “good faith” effort to protect national security, not a Muslim ban by another name and not a disguised twin of the original travel ban he issued in January.
Courts have disagreed so far, and their decisions have taken into account Trump’s own remarks.
Trump’s administration last week asked the Supreme Court to hear the case.
“Let the record reflect that Trump admits yet again that Muslim Ban 2.0 is nothing but ‘politically correct version’ of Muslim Ban 1.0,” Jamil Dakwar, director of the human rights program at the American Civil Liberties Union, which is behind one legal challenge to the ban.
“Its kinda odd to have the defendant in Hawaii v. Trump acting as our co-counsel. We don’t need the help but will take it!” Neal Katyal, the lead lawyer for Hawaii’s legal challenge, wrote on Twitter.
Trump campaigned on a “total and complete” ban on foreign Muslims entering the country. He issued the revised ban after the January version was blocked in court and widely criticized.
The revised version seeks to ban people from Iran, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Syria for 90 days; it deletes Iraq from the original list. The revised version also seeks a 120-day ban on Syrian refugees rather than the indefinite ban of the previous version, and it explicitly exempts permanent residents who hold “green cards.”
But the revised version has also been stymied in court. Trump’s most recent defeat came at the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Virginia, which ruled in May that the policy “drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination.”
Trump may have undermined his case again with another Monday tweet. While he and his legal team have argued that a temporary ban is necessary for the administration to figure out how to strengthen vetting procedures, Trump suggested he had already done so.
“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!” he wrote.
Trump was not finished tweeting inaccurate information. Later in the morning, he falsely blamed Democratic “obstructionists” for “taking forever” to confirm his ambassadorial nominees, though he has simply not nominated people for 178 of 188 positions. Then he denounced London Mayor Sadiq Khan for rejecting Trump’s misleading criticism.
Khan had urged Londoners to not be alarmed by an increased police presence following the terror attacks on Saturday. Trump had misleadingly suggested that Khan was telling the city not to be alarmed by the murder of its residents. Khan, through a spokesman, responded that Trump had taken him out of context.
The acting U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom, Lewis Lukens, had tried to play peacemaker on Sunday, tweeting support for Khan’s “strong leadership.” But Trump went after Khan once more on Monday, tweeting: “Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his “no reason to be alarmed” statement. MSM [mainstream media] is working hard to sell it!