Donald Trump renews attack on courts, says: I’m calling it a travel ban | world-news | Hindustan Times
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Donald Trump renews attack on courts, says: I’m calling it a travel ban

Donald Trump has said his proposed travel ban is necessary to protect Americans from terrorist attacks.

world Updated: Jun 05, 2017 19:34 IST
US President Donald Trump shields his eyes as he makes concluding remarks at the Ford's Theatre Gala in Washington.
US President Donald Trump shields his eyes as he makes concluding remarks at the Ford's Theatre Gala in Washington.(Reuters File Photo)

In the aftermath of the London terror attack, Donald Trump on Monday returned the offensive over security and his attempted travel ban against people from six Muslim-majority countries.

“People,” the president tweeted , “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!”

Trump’s executive order restricting entry to the US from Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Syria – a first version included Iraq – has been blocked by federal courts in Maryland and Hawaii. The White House has appealed to the Supreme Court .

Rulings against the order have concerned Trump and associates’ references to the order as a “ban”, and references to Muslims being its target. A ban on entry to the US based on religion – as a ban on the countries concerned would be on a de facto basis – would be unconstitutional on grounds of religious discrimination.

On the campaign trail last year, Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the US.

In January, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters: “It’s not a Muslim ban. It’s not a travel ban. It’s a vetting system to keep America safe.”

Trump tweeted about his travel ban on Saturday night, as events in London were unfolding. Seven people died and 48 were injured , 18 critically, when three attackers drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and then attacked people with knives in Borough Market. All three attackers were shot dead by police.

“We need to be smart, vigilant and tough,” Trump wrote then , in the first of a number of widely criticised tweeted responses to the London attack which also included widely reviled criticism of London mayor Sadiq Khan . “We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the travel ban as an extra level of safety!”

In response to that, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) pointed to Trump’s potential legal misstep when it tweeted : “Glad we both agree the ban is a ban.”

On Monday, Trump carried on regardless , writing: “The Justice Dept should have stayed with the original travel ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to [supreme court].

“The Justice Dept should ask for an expedited hearing of the watered down travel ban before the supreme court – and seek much tougher version!

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

White House social media director Dan Scavino has denied reports that as the Trump White House struggles with its legislative agenda and FBI and congressional investigations into ties between Trump aides and Russia, lawyers are now monitoring the president’s tweets.