President Donald Trump said Monday that he felt there was “nothing to apologize for” when asked about his campaign-era rhetoric about a Muslim ban.
During a joint press conference with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, a reporter told Trump that “in the Supreme Court case over your travel ban, the lawyers for the opponents said that if you would simply apologize for some of your rhetoric during the campaign, the whole case would go away.”
“I was wondering if— ” the reporter began.
“I don’t think it would, number one,” Trump interrupted him.
“And there’s no reason to apologize. Our immigration laws in this country are a total disaster,” he continued. “They’re laughed at all over the world, they’re laughed at, for their stupidity and we have to have strong immigration laws. So I think if I apologize, it wouldn’t make ten cents worth of difference to them.”
“There’s nothing to apologize for,” he continued. “We have to have strong immigration laws to protect our country.”
During oral arguments last week, attorney Neal Katyal argued that Trump’s travel ban reflected the religious animus toward Muslims that marked his 2016 campaign.
“I think the President could have disclaimed — you know, easily moved away from all of these statements,” Katyal told the court (pp. 62). “But instead they embraced them. That’s the difference.”
Later in the same exchange, Katyal agreed with Chief Justice John Roberts when Roberts asked if “[t]omorrow, [Trump] issues a proclamation disavowing those statements […] then the next day he could reenter this and your discrimination argument would not be applicable?”
This post has been updated.