Trump Defends Immigration Executive Order, Lashes Out At Media

President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

After his executive order suspending the United States’ refugee program and temporarily banning people from seven predominantly Muslims countries caused chaos at airports over the weekend, President Donald Trump defended his action on Sunday.

“America is a proud nation of immigrants and we will continue to show compassion to those fleeing oppression, but we will do so while protecting our own citizens and border. America has always been the land of the free and home of the brave. We will keep it free and keep it safe, as the media knows, but refuses to say,” he said in a statement Sunday afternoon.

Trump insisted that his order did not amount to a ban on Muslims.

“To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting. This is not about religion – this is about terror and keeping our country safe. There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order,” the President said.

He also compared his executive order to the Obama administration’s decision to strengthen its screening process for Iraqi refugees in 2011.

“My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months. The seven countries named in the Executive Order are the same countries previously identified by the Obama administration as sources of terror,” Trump said.

However, the Obama administration did not put in place an official ban on accepting Iraqi refugees for six months in 2011. While the administration put new screening measures in place and re-screened Iraqi refugees already accepted into the U.S., the process for accepting new visas slowed significantly.

Following his Sunday statement, Trump published several tweets Monday morning defending his executive order and downplaying issues at airports over the weekend. He blamed a computer problem with Delta Airlines, but that did not occur until Sunday evening.

Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: