International Refugee Assistance Project et al v. Trump et al
MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction by HIAS, Inc., Allan Hakky, International Refugee Assistance Project, Jane Doe 1, John Doe 1-4, Samaneh Takaloo (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit IRAP Declaration, # 2 Exhibit HIAS Declaration, # 3 Exhibit MESA Declaration, # 4 Exhibit John Doe 1 Declaration, # 5 Exhibit John Doe 3 Declaration, # 6 Exhibit Mateab Declaration, # 7 Exhibit Jane Doe 2 Declaration, # 8 Exhibit Mohomed Declaration, # 9 Exhibit Harrison Declaration, # 10 Exhibit Hausman Declaration Pt. 1, # 11 Exhibit Hausman Declaration Pt. 2, # 12 Exhibit Hausman Declaration Pt. 3)(Jadwat, Omar)
Trump promises new immigration
order as DOJ holds off appeals court
By Laura Jarrett, Allie Malloy and Dan Merica, CNN
Updated 11:38 PM ET, Thu February 16, 2017
New travel ban will be based on court decision 02:24
Trump said Thursday that his administration
will issue "a new and very comprehensive
order to protect our people" next week
Washington (CNN) — President Donald Trump vowed Thursday to roll out a new immigration executive order next
week that will be tailored to the federal court decision that paused his travel ban.
"The new order is going to be very much tailored to what I consider to be a very bad decision," said Trump during a news
conference, referring to a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that blocked his travel ban earlier this month.
The original three-judge panel retains control
of the case and the travel ban remains on hold
Meanwhile, the Justice Department told the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that it did not need a larger panel of judges to
rehear its failed emergency challenge to a lower court's temporary suspension of Trump's executive order on
immigration at this time, because a new order is on the way. The Ninth Circuit agreed Thursday evening to put any
rehearing of the matter on hold for now.
Trump press conference
The Justice Department wrote at length in a 47-page about the "seriously flawed" Ninth Circuit ruling from last week, but
neverthless said: "(r)ather than continuing this litigation, the President intends in the near future to rescind the order and
replace it with a new, substantially revised executive order to eliminate what the panel erroneously thought were
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"In so doing, the President will clear the way for immediately protecting the country rather than pursuing further,
potentially time-consuming litigation," it added.
Questions have swirled over what the Trump administration would do this week after a three-judge panel on the Ninth
Circuit refused to lift a federal judge's temporary restraining order on Trump's executive order barring foreign nationals
from Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Iraq and Yemen from entering the country for 90 days, all refugees for 120 days
and all refugees from Syria indefinitely.
Last Friday, an unidentified judge on the Ninth Circuit requested that the full court vote on whether to rehear the
decision reached by the three-judge panel. Such requests are not uncommon, but the call for a vote came at time
when the Justice Department's position on pursuing the appeal was uncertain.
The states that brought the lawsuit -- Washington and Minnesota -- said in their court filing on Thursday that there is no
basis for rehearing the case, as the opinion from the three-judge panel is "firmly grounded in precedent."
And while the nation waits on a new or modified executive order on immigration from the Trump administration, at least one federal court is barreling ahead on litigation
over the original one.
US District Court Judge James Robart in Seattle -- the judge who originally halted the key provisions of the travel ban -- denied a request from the Trump administration
earlier this week to postpone any further proceedings in his court, which means the parties will now proceed to the discovery phase of the case.
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White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday that President Donald Trump will not rescind the
original order. | Getty
White House creates confusion about future of Trump's travel ban
By MATTHEW NUSSBAUM, JOSH GERSTEIN and CRISTIANO LIMA | 02/21/17 05:06 PM EST | Updated
02/21/17 08:15 PM EST
The White House is sending mixed signals as to whether or not it will rescind President
Donald Trump's controversial travel ban even as officials seek to craft a new order that will
be less vulnerable to legal challenge.
The Justice Department told the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last week that Trump will
"rescind...and replace" the original order, which remains largely on hold after an appeals
court panel upheld a lower court’s broad injunction.
But White House press secretary Sean Spicer said at the conclusion of his daily briefing
Tuesday that Trump will not rescind the original order. Instead, the first order is being
updated, Spicer insisted.
The contradictory statements sowed further confusion about the fate of Trump's original
order, which bars immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries and halts the entry of
"The new order is going to be very much tailored to what I consider to be a very bad
decision," Trump said last week.
White House creates confusion about future of Trump's travel ban
An excerpt of Sean Spicer's remarks on Tuesday.
02/21/17 05:30 PM EST
Spicer said the administration remains confident in the legality of its original order, but is
also working with Cabinet agencies to prepare a new one.
His statements seemed to leave open the possibility that there could be two orders in effect
at once — a situation that could complicate efforts to defend the new order in court.
The White House said Tuesday afternoon it intended to issue a clarification about the
But a statement from the administration — released on Tuesday evening — did little to clear
up any confusion.
"The administration continues to defend the President’s national security Executive Order
in court, and though we believe it to be fully lawful, we are simultaneously finalizing a
revised policy tailored to the Ninth Circuit’s ruling," White House spokesman Michael Short
said in a written statement.
During an appearance on Fox News Tuesday, White House aide Stephen Miller similarly left
the door open for the initial order to remain in place, adding only that the new policy would
be "responsive" to recent court rulings.
"These are mostly minor technical differences, fundamentally," he said of the forthcoming
revised order. "You are still going to have the same basic policy outcome for the country but
you are going to have a lot of technical issues brought up by the court."
Miller added that the administration would be rolling out the details of the revised order "in
the next few days."
He also stood by the original executive order's constitutionality, despite the flurry of legal
challenges to it.
"The president's actions were clearly legal and constitutional and consistent with the longstanding traditions of presidents in the past to exercise the authority in the Immigration
and Nationality Act to suspend immigration when it poses a threat to our security," he said.
Donald J. Trump Statement on Preventing Muslim Immigration | Donald J Trump for President
- DECEMBER 07, 2015 -
DONALD J. TRUMP STATEMENT ON
(New York, NY) December 7th, 2015, -- Donald J. Trump is calling
for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United
States until our country's representatives can fgure out what is
going on. According to Pew Research, among others, there is great
hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim
population. Mos recently, a poll from the Center for Security
Policy released data showing "25% of those polled agreed that
violence agains Americans here in the United States is jusifed as
a part of the global jihad" and 51% of those polled, "agreed that
Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed
according to Shariah." Shariah authorizes such atrocities as murder
agains non-believers who won't convert, beheadings and more
unthinkable acts that pose great harm to Americans, especially
Mr. Trump sated, "Without looking at the various polling data, it is
obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where
this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we
are able to determine and undersand this problem and the
dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of
horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have
no sense of reason or respect for human life. If I win the election for
President, we are going to Make America Great Again." - Donald J.
Next Release: Donald J. Trump Announces State Directors in
Donald J_ Trump Statement on Preventing Muslim Immigration.htm[2/12/2017 5:18:09 PM]
Full transcript: President Donald Trump's news
Updated 4:12 AM ET, Fri February 17, 2017
President Trump's full press conference 01:16:56
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP HOLDS A NEWS CONFERENCE TO
ANNOUNCE HIS NEW NOMINEE FOR SECRETARY OF LABOR
FEBRUARY 16, 2017
SPEAKER: PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
TRUMP: Thank you very much.
I just wanted to begin by mentioning that the nominee for secretary of the Department of Labor will be
Mr. Alex Acosta. He has a law degree from Harvard Law School, was a great student; former clerk for
Justice Samuel Alito. And he has had a tremendous career. He's a member and has been a member of
the National Labor Relations Board, and has been through Senate confirmation three times, confirmed;
did very, very well.
And so Alex, I've wished him the best. We just spoke. And he's going to be -- I think he'll be a
tremendous secretary of labor.
And also as you probably heard just a little while ago, Mick Mulvaney, former congressman, has just
been approved weeks late, I have to say that, weeks, weeks late, Office of Management and Budget.
And he will be I think a fantastic addition.
Paul Singer just left. As you know, Paul was very much involved with the anti-Trump or as they say,
"never Trump." And Paul just left and he's given us his total support. And it's all about unification. We're
unifying the party and hopefully we're going to be able to unify the country. It's very important to me.
I've been talking about that for a long time. It's very, very important to me.
So I want to thank Paul Singer for being here and for coming up to the office. He was a very strong
opponent, and now he's a very strong ally. And I appreciate that.
I think I'll say a few words, and then we'll take some questions. And I had this time. We've been
negotiating a lot of different transactions to save money on contracts that were terrible, including
airplane contracts that were out of control and late and terrible; just absolutely catastrophic in terms of
what was happening. And we've done some really good work. We're very proud of that.
And then right after that, you prepare yourselves, we'll do some questions, unless you have enough
questions. That's always a possibility.
I'm here today to update the American people on the incredible progress that has been made in the last
four weeks since my inauguration. We have made incredible progress. I don't think there's ever been a
president elected who in this short period of time has done what we've done.
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A new Rasmussen poll, in fact -- because the
people get it -- much of the media doesn't get it.
They actually get it, but they don't write it. Let's put
it that way. But a new Rasmussen poll just came
out just a very short while ago, and it has our
approval rating at 55 percent and going up. The
stock market has hit record numbers, as you
know. And there has been a tremendous surge of
optimism in the business world, which is -- to me
means something much different than it used to. It
used to mean, "Oh, that's good." Now it means,
"That's good for jobs." Very different.
Plants and factories are already starting to move
back into the United States, and big league -- Ford,
General Motors, so many of them. I'm making this
presentation directly to the American people, with the media present, which is an honor to have you.
This morning, because many of our nation's reporters and folks will not tell you the truth, and will not
treat the wonderful people of our country with the respect that they deserve. And I hope going forward
we can be a little bit -- a little bit different, and maybe get along a little bit better, if that's possible.
Maybe it's not, and that's OK, too.
TRUMP: Unfortunately, much of the media in Washington, D.C., along with New York, Los Angeles in
particular, speaks not for the people, but for the special interests and for those profiting off a very, very
obviously broken system. The press has become so dishonest that if we don't talk about, we are doing
a tremendous disservice to the American people. Tremendous disservice. We have to talk to find out
what's going on, because the press honestly is out of control. The level of dishonesty is out of control.
I ran for president to present the citizens of our country. I am here to change the broken system so it
serves their families and their communities well. I am talking -- and really talking on this very entrenched
power structure, and what we're doing is we're talking about the power structure; we're talking about
its entrenchment. As a result, the media is going through what they have to go through too often times
distort - not all the time - and some of the media is fantastic, I have to say - they're honest and fantastic.
But much of it is not a - the distortion -- and we'll talk about it, you'll be able to ask me questions about
it. But we're not going to let it happen, because I'm here again, to take my message straight to the
people. As you know, our administration inherited many problems across government and across the
economy. To be honest, I inherited a mess. It's a mess. At home and abroad, a mess. Jobs are pouring
out of the country; you see what's going on with all of the companies leaving our country, going to
Mexico and other places, low pay, low wages, mass instability overseas, no matter where you look. The
middle east is a disaster. North Korea - we'll take care of it folks; we're going to take care of it all. I just
want to let you know, I inherited a mess.
Beginning on day one, our administration went to work to tackle these challenges. On foreign affairs,
we've already begun enormously productive talks with many foreign leaders, much of it you've covered,
to move forward towards stability, security and peace in the most troubled regions of the world, which
there are many. We have had great conversations with the United Kingdom, and meetings. Israel,
Mexico, Japan, China and Canada, really, really productive conversations. I would say far more
productive than you would understand.
We've even developed a new council with Canada to promote women's business leaders and
entrepreneurs. It's very important to me, very important to my daughter Ivanka. I have directed our
defense community headed by our great general, now Secretary Mattis. He's over there now working
very hard to submit a plan for the defeat of ISIS, a group that celebrates the murder and torture of
innocent people in large sections of the world. It used to be a small group, now it's in large sections of
They've spread like cancer. ISIS has spread like cancer - another mess I inherited. And we have
imposed new sanctions on the nation of Iran, whose totally taken advantage of our previous
administration, and they're the world's top sponsor of terrorism, and we're not going to stop until that
problem is properly solved. And it's not properly solved now, it's one of the worst agreements I've ever
seen drawn by anybody. I've ordered plan to begin building for the massive rebuilding of the United
States military. Had great support from the Senate, I've had great from Congress, generally.
We've pursued this rebuilding in the hopes that we will never have to use this military, and I will tell you
that is my - I would be so happy if we never had to use it. But our country will never have had a military
like the military we're about to build and rebuild. We have the greatest people on earth in our military,
but they don't have the right equipment and their equipment is old. I used it; I talked about it at every
stop. Depleted, it's depleted - it won't be depleted for long. And I think one of the reason I'm standing
here instead of other people is that frankly, I talked about we have to have a strong military.
We have to have a strong law enforcement also. So we do not go abroad in the search of war, we really
are searching for peace, but its peace through strength. At home, we have begun the monumental task
of returning the government back to the people on a scale not seen in many, many years. In each of
these actions, I'm keeping my promises to the American people. These are campaign promises. Some
people are so surprised that we're having strong borders.
Well, that's what I've been talking about for a year and a half, strong borders. They're so surprised, oh,
he having strong borders, well that's what I've been talking about to the press and to everybody else.
One promise after another after years of politicians lying to you to get elected. They lied to the American
people in order to get elected. Some of the things I'm doing probably aren't popular but they're
necessary for security and for other reasons.
And then coming to Washington and pursuing their own interests which is more important to many
politicians. I'm here following through on what I pledged to do. That's all I'm doing. I put it out before the
American people, got 306 electoral college votes. I wasn't supposed to get 222. They said there's no
way to get 222, 230's impossible.
270 which you need, that was laughable. We got 306 because people came out and voted like they've
never seen before so that's the way it goes. I guess it was the biggest electoral college win since Ronald
Reagan. In other words, the media's trying to attack our administration because they know we are
following through on pledges that we made and they're not happy about it for whatever reason.
And - but a lot of people are happy about it. In fact, I'll be in Melbourne, Florida five o'clock on Saturday
and I heard - just heard that the crowds are massive that want to be there. I turn on the T.V., open the
newspapers and I see stories of chaos. Chaos. Yet it is the exact opposite. This administration is running
like a fine- tuned machine, despite the fact that I can't get my cabinet approved.
And they're outstanding people like Senator Dan Coats who's there, one of the most respected men of
the Senate. He can't get approved. How do you not approve him? He's been a colleague - highly
respected. Brilliant guy, great guy, everybody knows it. We're waiting for approval. So we have a
wonderful group of people that's working very hard, that's being very much misrepresented about and
we can't let that happen.
So, if the Democrats who have - all you have to do is look at where they are right now. The only thing
they can do is delay because they screwed things up royally, believe me. Let me list to you some of the
things that we've done in just a short period of time. I just got here. And I got here with no cabinet.
Again, each of these actions is a promise I made to the American people.
I'll go over just some of them and we have a lot happening next week and in the weeks - in the weeks
coming. We've withdrawn from the job-killing disaster known as Trans Pacific Partnership. We're going
to make trade deals but we're going to have one on one deals, bilateral. We're going to have one on
We've directed the elimination of regulations that undermine manufacturing and call for expedited
approval of the permits needed for America and American infrastructure and that means plant,
equipment, roads, bridges, factories. People take 10, 15, 20 years to get disapproved for a factory. They
go in for a permit, it's many, many years. And then at the end of the process -- they spend 10s of
millions of dollars on nonsense and at the end of the process, they get rejected.
Now, they may be rejected with me but it's going to be a quick rejection. Not going to take years. But
mostly it's going to be an acceptance. We want plants built and we want factories built and we want
the jobs. We don't want the jobs going to other countries. We've imposed a hiring freeze on nonessential federal workers. We've imposed a temporary moratorium on new federal regulations.
We've issued a game-changing new rule that says for each one new regulation, two old regulations
must be eliminated. Makes sense. Nobody's ever seen regulations like we have. You go to other
countries and you look at indexes (ph) they have and you say "let me see your regulations" and they're
fraction, just a tiny fraction of what we have. And I want regulations because I want safety, I want
environmental - all environmental situations to be taken properly care of. It's very important to me. But
you don't need four or five or six regulations to take care of the same thing.
We've stood up for the men and women of law enforcement, directing federal agencies to ensure they
are protected from crimes of violence. We've directed the creation of a task force for reducing violent
crime in America, including the horrendous situation -- take a look at Chicago and others, taking place
right now in our inner cities. Horrible.
We've ordered the Department of Homeland Security and Justice to coordinate on a plan to destroy
criminal cartels coming into the United States with drugs. We're becoming a drug infested nation. Drugs
are becoming cheaper than candy bars. We are not going to let it happen any longer.
We've undertaken the most substantial border security measures in a generation to keep our nation
and our tax dollars safe. And are now in the process of beginning to build a promised wall on the
southern border, met with general -- now Secretary Kelly yesterday and we're starting that process.
And the wall is going to be a great wall and it's going to be a wall negotiated by me. The price is going
to come down just like it has on everything else I've negotiated for the government. And we are going to
have a wall that works, not gonna have a wall like they have now which is either non-existent or a joke.
We've ordered a crackdown on sanctuary cities that refuse to comply with federal law and that harbor
criminal aliens, and we have ordered an end to the policy of catch and release on the border. No more
release. No matter who you are, release. We have begun a nationwide effort to remove criminal aliens,
gang members, drug dealers and others who pose a threat to public safety. We are saving American
lives every single day.
The court system has not made it easy for us. And are even creating a new office in Homeland Security
dedicated to the forgotten American victims of illegal immigrant violence, which there are many. We
have taken decisive action to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of our country. No parts are necessary
and constitutional actions were blocked by judges, in my opinion, incorrect, and unsafe ruling. Our
administration is working night and day to keep you safe, including reporters safe. And is vigorously
defending this lawful order.
I will not back down from defending our country. I got elected on defense of our country. I keep my
campaign promises, and our citizens will be very happy when they see the result. They already are, I
can tell you that. Extreme vetting will be put in place and it already is in place in many places.
In fact, we had to go quicker than we thought because of the bad decision we received from a circuit
that has been overturned at a record number. I have heard 80 percent, I find that hard to believe, that is
just a number I heard, that they are overturned 80 percent of the time. I think that circuit is -- that circuit
is in chaos and that circuit is frankly in turmoil. But we are appealing that, and we are going further.
We're issuing a new executive action next week that will comprehensively protect our country. So we'll
be going along the one path and hopefully winning that, at the same time we will be issuing a new and
very comprehensive order to protect our people. That will be done sometime next week, toward the
beginning or middle at the latest part. We have also taken steps to begin construction of the Keystone
Pipeline and Dakota Access Pipelines. Thousands and thousands of jobs, and put new buy American
measures in place to require American steel for American pipelines. In other words, they build a pipeline
in this country, and we use the powers of government to make that pipeline happen, we want them to
use American steel. And they are willing to do that, but nobody ever asked before I came along. Even
this order was drawn and they didn't say that.
TRUMP: And I'm reading the order, I'm saying, why aren't we using American steel? And they said,
that's a good idea, we put it in. To drain the swamp of corruption in Washington, D.C., I've started by
imposing a five-year lobbying ban on White House officials and a lifetime ban on lobbying for a foreign
We've begun preparing to repeal and replace Obamacare. Obamacare is a disaster, folks. It is's
disaster. I know you can say, oh, Obamacare. I mean, they fill up our alleys with people that you wonder
how they get there, but they are not the Republican people our that representatives are representing.
So we've begun preparing to repeal and replace Obamacare, and are deep in the midst of negotiations
on a very historic tax reform to bring our jobs back, to bring our jobs back to this country. Big league.
It's already happening. But big league.
I've also worked to install a cabinet over the delays and obstruction of Senate Democrats. You've seen
what they've done over the last long number of years. That will be one of the great cabinets ever
assembled in American history.
You look at Rex Tillerson. He's out there negotiating right now. General Mattis I mentioned before,
General Kelly. We have great, great people. Mick is with us now. We have great people.
Among their responsibilities will be ending the bleeding of jobs from our country and negotiating fair
trade deals for our citizens.
Now look, fair trade. Not free, fair. If a country is taking advantage of us, not going to let that happen
anymore. Every country takes advantage of us almost. I may be able to find a couple that don't. But for
the most part, that would be a very tough job for me to do.
Jobs have already started to surge. Since my election, Ford announced it will abandon its plans to build
a new factory in Mexico, and will instead invest $700 million in Michigan, creating many, many jobs.
Fiat Chrysler announced it will invest $1 billion in Ohio and Michigan, creating 2,000 new American jobs.
They were with me a week ago. You know you were here.
General Motors likewise committed to invest billions of dollars in its American manufacturing operation,
keeping many jobs here that were going to leave. And if I didn't get elected, believe me, they would
have left. And these jobs and these things that I'm announcing would never have come here.
Intel just announced that it will move ahead with a new plant in Arizona that probably was never going
to move ahead with. And that will result in at least 10,000 American jobs.
Walmart announced it will create 10,000 jobs in the United States just this year because of our various
plans and initiatives. There will be many, many more, many more, these are a few that we're naming.
Other countries have been taking advantage of us for decades -- decades, and decades, and decades,
folks. And we're not going to let that happen anymore. Not going to let it happen.
And one more thing, I have kept my promise to the American people by nominating a justice of the
United States Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch, who is from my list of 20, and who will be a true
defender of our laws and our Constitution, highly respected, should get the votes from the Democrats.
You may not see that. But he'll get there one way or the other. But he should get there the oldfashioned way, and he should get those votes.
This last month has represented an unprecedented degree of action on behalf of the great citizens of
our country. Again, I say it. There has never been a presidency that's done so much in such a short
period of time. And we have not even started the big work yet. That starts early next week.
Some very big things are going to be announced next week. So we are just getting started. We will be
giving a speech, as I said, in Melbourne, Florida, at 5:00 p.m. I hope to see you there.
And with that, I just say, God bless America, and let's take some questions.
Mara (ph), Mara (ph), go ahead. You were cut off pretty violently at our last news conference.
TRUMP: Mike Flynn is a fine person, and I asked for his resignation. He respectfully gave it. He is a man
who there was a certain amount of information given to Vice President Pence, who is with us today. And
I was not happy with the way that information was given.
He didn't have to do that, because what he did wasn't wrong -- what he did in terms of the information
he saw. What was wrong was the way that other people, including yourselves in this room, were given
that information, because that was classified information that was given illegally. That's the real
And, you know, you can talk all you want about Russia, which was all a, you know, fake news,
fabricated deal, to try and make up for the loss of the Democrats and the press plays right into it. In fact,
I saw a couple of the people that were supposedly involved with all of this -- that they know nothing
about it; they weren't in Russia; they never made a phone call to Russia; they never received a phone
It's all fake news. It's all fake news. The nice thing is, I see it starting to turn, where people are now
looking at the illegal -- I think it's very important -- the illegal, giving out classified information. It was -and let me just tell you, it was given out like so much.
I'll give you an example. I called, as you know, Mexico. It was a very, very confidential, classified call. But
I called Mexico. And in calling Mexico, I figured, oh, well that's -- I spoke to the president of Mexico; I
had a good call. All of a sudden, it's out there for the world to see. It's supposed to be secret. It's
supposed to be either confidential or classified, in that case.
Same thing with Australia. All of a sudden, people are finding out exactly what took place. The same
thing happened with respect to General Flynn. Everybody saw this. And I'm saying -- the first thing I
thought of when I heard about it is: How does the press get this information that's classified? How do
they do it?
You know why? Because it's an illegal process and the press should be ashamed of themselves. But
more importantly, the people that gave out the information to the press should be ashamed of
themselves, really ashamed.
Yes, go ahead.
TRUMP: Because when I looked at the information, I said, "I don't think he did anything wrong; if
anything, he did something right." He was coming into office. He looked at the information. He said,
"Huh, that's fine." That's what they're supposed to do. They're supposed to -- he didn't just call Russia.
He called and spoke to both ways, I think there were 30-some-odd countries. He's doing the job.
You know, he was doing his job. The thing is, he didn't tell our vice president properly, and then he said
he didn't remember. So either way, it wasn't very satisfactory to me. And I have somebody that I think
will be outstanding for the position. And that also helps, I think, in the making of my decision.
But he didn't tell the vice president of the United States the facts. And then he didn't remember. And
that just wasn't acceptable to me.
QUESTION: (inaudible) clarification here. During your campaign, did anyone from your team (inaudible)
Russian government or Russian intelligence? And if so, what was the nature of those conversations
(inaudible)? TRUMP: The failing New York Times wrote a big, long front-page story yesterday. And it was
very much discredited, as you know. It was -- it's a joke. And the people mentioned in the story, I notice
they were on television today saying they never even spoke to Russia. They weren't even a part, really -I mean, they were such a minor part. They -- I hadn't spoken to them.
I think the one person -- I don't think I've ever spoken to him. I don't think I've ever met him. And he
actually said he was a very low-level member of I think a committee for a short period of time. I don't
think I ever met him. Now, it's possible that I walked into a room and he was sitting there, but I don't
think I ever met him. I didn't talk to him ever. And he thought it was a joke.
The other person said he never spoke to Russia; never received a call. Look at his phone records, et
cetera, et cetera. And the other person, people knew that he represented various countries, but I don't
think he represented Russia, but knew that he represented various countries. That's what he does. I
mean, people know that.
That's Mr. Manafort, who's -- by the way, who's by the way a respected man. He's a respected man.
But I think he represented the Ukraine or Ukraine government or somebody, but everybody -- people
knew that. Everybody knew that.
So, these people -- and he said that he has absolutely nothing to do and never has with Russia. And he
said that very forcefully. I saw his statement. He said it very forcefully. Most of the papers don't print it
because that's not good for their stories.
TRUMP: So the three people that they talked about all totally deny it. And I can tell you, speaking for
myself, I own nothing in Russia. I have no loans in Russia. I don't have any deals in Russia. President
Putin called me up very nicely to congratulate me on the win of the election.
He then, called me up extremely nicely to congratulate me on the inauguration, which was terrific. But
so did many other leaders, almost all other leaders from almost all of the country. So that's the extent.
Russia is fake news. Russia -- this is fake news put out by the media. The real news is the fact that
people, probably from the Obama administration because they're there, because we have our new
people going in place, right now.
As you know, Mike Pompeo has -- has now taken control of the CIA, James Comey at FBI, Dan Coats is
waiting to be approved, I mean he is a senator and a highly respected one and he's still waiting to be
approved. But our new people are going in.
And just while you're at it, because you mentioned this, Wall Street Journal did a story today that was
almost as disgraceful as the failing New York Time's story, yesterday. And it talked about -- these are
(ph) front page.
So director of national intelligence just put out, acting a statement, any suggestion that the United
States intelligence community, this was just given to us, is withholding information and not providing the
best possible intelligence to the president and his national security team is not true.
So they took this front page story out of The Wall Street Journal top and they just wrote the story that its
not true. And I'll tell you something, I'll be honest, because I sort of enjoy this back and forth that I guess
I have all my life but I've never seen more dishonest media than frankly, the political media. I thought the
financial media was much better, much more honest.
But I will say that, I never get phone calls from the media. How did they write a story like that in The Wall
Street Journal without asking me or how did they write a story in The New York Times, put it on front
That was like the story they wrote about the women and me, front page, big massive story. And it was
nasty and then they called, they said we never said that, we like Mr. Trump. They called up my office,
we like Mr. Trump, we never said that.
And it was totally -- they totally misrepresented those very wonderful women, I have to tell you, totally
misrepresented. I said give us the retraction. They never gave us a retraction and frankly, I then went on
to other things.
OK, go ahead.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) said today that you have big intellectual margins (inaudible) 300 or more (ph), or
350 (ph) electoral (ph) votes. President Obama about 365 (OFF-MIKE).
QUESTION: Obama (OFF-MIKE) 426 on (OFF-MIKE). So why should Americans...
TRUMP: ...I'm skipping that information, I don't know, I was just given (ph) we had a very, very big
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) why should Americans trust you (OFF-MIKE) the information (OFF-MIKE)?
TRUMP: Well, I don't know, I was given that information. I was given -- I actually, I've seen that
information around. But it was a very substantial victory, do you agree with that? OK thank you, that's...
TRUMP: Go ahead Sir, yes?
QUESTION: Can you tell us in determining that Lieutenant General Flynn did -- whether there was no
wrongdoing in your mind, what evidence was weighed? Did you ask for transcripts of these telephone
intercepts with Russian officials, particularly the Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, who he was
What-- what evidence did you weigh to determine that there was no wrongdoing? Further to that, Sir,
you said on a couple of locations this morning, you are going to aggressively pursue the source of these
TRUMP: We are.
QUESTION: Can we ask what you're going to do and also, we've heard about a -- a review of the
intelligence community headed up by Steven Feinberg, what can you tell us about that?
TRUMP: Well, first of all about that, we now have Dan Coats, hopefully soon, Mike Pompeo and James
Comey and they're in position so I hope that we'll be able to straighten that out without using anybody
The gentleman you mentioned is a very talented man, very successful man and he's offered his services
and you know, it's something we may take advantage of. But I don't think we're need that at all
because of the fact that you know, I think that we are gonna be able to straighten it out very easily on its
As far as the general's concerned, when I first heard about it, I said huh, that doesn't sound wrong. My
counsel came, Don McGahn, White House Counsel, and he told me and I asked him, he can speak very
well for himself. He said he doesn't think anything is wrong, you know, really didn't think.
It was really, what happened after that but he didn't think anything was done wrong. I didn't either
because I waited a period of time and I started to think about it, I said "well I don't see" -- to me, he was
doing the job.
The information was provided by -- who I don't know, Sally Yates. And I was a little surprised because I
said "doesn't sound like he did anything wrong there." But he did something wrong with respect to the
vice president and I thought that was not acceptable. As far as -- as far as the actual making the call,
fact I've watched various programs and I've read various articles where he was just doing his job.
That was very normal. You know, first everybody got excited because they thought he did something
wrong. After they thought about it, it turned out he was just doing his job. So -- and I do. And by the
way, with all of that being said, I do think he's a fine man.
QUESTION: Sir, if I could, on the leaks -- on the leaks, sir...
TRUMP: ...Go ahead. Finish off then I'll get you.
QUESTION: I'm sorry. What will you do on the leaks? You've said twice today...
TRUMP: ...Yes, we're looking at them very -- very, very serious. I've gone to all of the folks in charge of
the various agencies and we're -- I've actually called the Justice Department to look into the leaks.
Those are criminal leaks. They're put out by people either in agencies -- I think you'll see it stopping
because now we have our people in. You know, again, we don't have our people in because we can't
get them approved by the Senate.
We just had Jeff Sessions approved. Injustice, as an example (ph). So, we are looking into that very
seriously. It's a criminal act. You know what I say, when I -- when I was called out on Mexico, I was
shocked because all this equipment, all this incredible phone equipment -- when I was called out on
Mexico, I was -- honestly, I was really, really surprised.
But I said "you know, it doesn't make sense. That won't happen" but that wasn't that important a call, it
was fine, I could show it to the world and he could show it to the world, the president who's a very fine
man, by the way. Same thing with Australia. I said "that's terrible that it was leaked" but it wasn't that
important. But then I said to myself "what happens when I'm dealing with the problem of North Korea?"
What happens when I'm dealing with the problems in the Middle East? Are you folks going to be
reporting all of that very, very confidential information, very important, very -- you know, I mean at the
highest level? Are you going to be reporting about that too? So, I don't want classified information
getting out to the public and in a way that was almost a test.
So I'm dealing with Mexico, I'm dealing with Argentina, we were dealing on this case with Mike Flynn. All
this information gets put into the "Washington Post" and gets put into the "New York Times" and I'm
saying "what's going to happen when I'm dealing on the Middle East? What's going to happen when I'm
dealing with really, really important subjects like North Korea?
We got to stop it. That's why it's a criminal penalty.
QUESTION: I just want to get you to clarify this very important point. Can you say definitively that nobody
on your campaign had any contacts with the Russians during the campaign? And on the leaks, is it fake
news or are these real leaks?
TRUMP: Well the leaks are real. You're the one that wrote about them and reported them, I mean the
leaks are real. You know what they said, you saw it and the leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake
because so much of the news is fake. So one thing that I felt it was very important to do -- and I hope
we can correct it. Because there's nobody I have more respect for -- well, maybe a little bit but the
reporters, good reporters.
It's very important to me and especially in this position. It's very important. I don't mind bad stories. I can
handle a bad story better than anybody as long as it's true and, you know, over a course of time, I'll
make mistakes and you'll write badly and I'm OK with that. But I'm not OK when it is fake. I mean, I
watch CNN, it's so much anger and hatred and just the hatred.
I don't watch it any more because it's very good -- he's saying no. It's OK, Jim (ph). It's OK, Jim (ph),
you'll have your chance. But I watch others too. You're not the only one so don't feel badly. But I think it
should be straight. I think it should be -- I think it would be frankly more interesting. I know how good
everybody's ratings are right now but I think that actually -- I think that'd actually be better.
People -- I mean, you have a lower approval rate than Congress. I think that's right. I don't know, Peter
(ph), is that one right? Because you know I think they have lower -- I heard lower than Congress. But
honestly, the public would appreciate it, I'd appreciate it -- again, I don't mind bad stories when it's true
but we have an administration where the Democrats are making it very difficult.
TRUMP: I think we're setting a record or close to a record in the time of approval of a cabinet. I mean,
the numbers are crazy. When I'm looking, some of them had them approved immediately.
I'm going forever and I still have a lot of people that we're waiting for. And that's all they're doing, is
delaying. And you look at Schumer and the mess that he's got over there and they have nothing going.
The only thing they can do is delay. And, you know, I think that they'd be better served by, you know,
approving and making sure that they're happy and everybody's good.
And sometimes -- I mean, I know President Obama lost three or four, and you lose them on the way,
and that's OK. That's fine. But I think it would -- I think they would be much better served, John, if they
just went through the process quickly. This is pure delay tactics.
And they say it, and everybody understands it. Yeah, go ahead, Jimmy.
TRUMP: Well, I had nothing to do with it. I have nothing to do with Russia. I told you, I have no deals
there, I have no anything. Now, when WikiLeaks, which I had nothing to do with, comes out and
happens to give, they're not giving classified information. They're giving stuff -- what was said at an
office about Hillary cheating on the debates.
Which, by the way, nobody mentions. Nobody mentions that Hillary received the questions to the
debates. Can you imagine -- seriously -- can you imagine if I received the questions? It would be the
electric chair. OK, he should be put in the electric -- you would even call for the reinstitution of the death
penalty, OK. Maybe not you John. Yes? We'll do you next Jim, I do you next(ph).
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) clarify -TRUMP: Yes, yes, sure
QUESTION: Did you direct Mike Flynn to discuss sanctions with the Russian ambassador -TRUMP: No, I didn't.
QUESTION: -- prior to your -- TRUMP: No, I didn't.
QUESTION: -- inauguration.
TRUMP: No, I didn't.
QUESTION: And then fired him -TRUMP: Excuse me.
TRUMP: No, I fired him because of what he said to Mike Pence. Very simple. Mike was doing his job. He
was calling countries and his counterparts. So, it certainly would have been OK with me if he did it. I
would have directed him to do it if I thought he wasn't doing it.
I didn't direct him, but I would have directed him because that's his job. And it came out that way -- and
in all fairness, I watched Dr. Charles Krauthammer the other night say he was doing his job and I agreed
with him. And since then, I've watched many other people say that.
No, I didn't direct him, but I would have directed him if he didn't do it. OK? Jim?
QUESTION: Thank you very much, and just for the record, we don't hate you. I don't hate you.
QUESTION: So, pass that along -TRUMP: Ask -- ask Jeff Zucker how he got his job. OK?
QUESTION: If I may follow up on some of the questions that have taken place so far here, sir -TRUMP: Well, that's -- well, you know, we do have other people. You do have other people and your
ratings aren't as good as some of the other people that are waiting.
QUESTION: It's pretty good right now, actually.
TRUMP: OK, go ahead, John.
QUESTION: If I may ask, sir, you said earlier that WikiLeaks was revealing information about the Hillary
Clinton campaign during the election cycle. You welcomed that. At one time -TRUMP: I was OK with it.
QUESTION: -- you said -- you said that you loved WikiLeaks. At another campaign press conference you
called on the Russians to find the missing 30,000 e-mails. I'm wondering, sir, if you -- TRUMP: Well, she
was actually missing 33 and then that got extended with a pile after that.
QUESTION: Then(ph), your(ph) numbers(ph) were off too.
TRUMP: No -- no, but I did say 30. But it was actually higher than that.
QUESTION: If -- if I may ask you, sir, it -- it sounds as though you do not have much credibility here when
it comes to leaking if that is something that you encouraged during(ph) the campaign -TRUMP: OK, fair question. Ready?
QUESTION: Well, if I may ask you that -TRUMP: No -- no, but let me do one at a time.
QUESTION: If I may as a follow up?
TRUMP: Do you mind?
QUESTION: Yes, sir.
TRUMP: All right. So, in one case, you're talking about highly classified information. In the other case,
you're talking about John Podesta saying bad things about the boss. I will say this, if John Podesta said
that about me and he was working for me, I would have fired him so fast your head would have spun.
He said terrible things about her. But it wasn't classified information. But in one case, you're talking
about classified -- regardless, if you look at the RNC, we had a very strong -- at my suggestion -- and I
give Reince great credit for this -- at my suggestion, because I know something about this world, I said I
want a very strong defensive mechanism.
I don't want to be hacked. And we did that. And you have seen that they tried to hack us and they
failed. The DNC did not do that. And if they did it, they could not have been hacked. But they were
hacked and terrible things came in. And, you know, the only thing that I do think is unfair is some of the
things were so -- they were -- when I heard some of those things I picked up the papers the next
morning and said, oh, this is going to be front page, it wasn't even in the papers.
Again, if I had that happen to me, it would be the biggest story in the history of publishing or the head of
newspapers. I would have been headline in every newspaper. I mean, think of it. They gave her the
questions to a debate and she -- and she should have reported herself.
Why did Hillary Clinton announce that, "I'm sorry, but I have been given the questions to a debate or a
town hall, and I feel that it's inappropriate, and I want to turn in CNN for not doing a good job."
QUESTION: And if I may follow up on that, just something that Jonathan Karl (ph) was asking you about.
You said that the leaks are real, but the news is fake. I guess I don't understand. It seems that there's a
disconnect there. If the information coming from those leaks is real, then how can the stories be fake?
TRUMP: The reporting is fake. Look, look...
TRUMP: You know what it is? Here's the thing. The public isn't -- you know, they read newspapers, they
see television, they watch. They don't know if it's true or false because they're not involved. I'm involved.
I've been involved with this stuff all my life. But I'm involved. So I know when you're telling the truth or
when you're not. I just see many, many untruthful things.
And I'll tell you what else I see. I see tone. You know the word "tone." The tone is such hatred. I'm really
not a bad person, by the way. No, but the tone is such -- I do get good ratings, you have to admit that -the tone is such hatred.
I watched this morning a couple of the networks. And I have to say, Fox & Friends in the morning,
they're very honorable people. They're very -- not because they're good, because they hit me also when
I do something wrong. But they have the most honest morning show. That's all I can say. It's the most
But the tone, Jim. If you look -- the hatred. The, I mean, sometimes -- sometimes somebody gets...
TRUMP: Well, you look at your show that goes on at 10 o'clock in the evening. You just take a look at
that show. That is a constant hit. The panel is almost always exclusive anti-Trump. The good news is he
doesn't have good ratings. But the panel is almost exclusive anti-Trump. And the hatred and venom
coming from his mouth; the hatred coming from other people on your network.
Now, I will say this. I watch it. I see it. I'm amazed by it. And I just think you'd be a lot better off, I honestly
do. The public gets it, you know. Look, when I go to rallies, they turn around, they start screaming at
CNN. They want to throw their placards at CNN. You know.
I -- I think you would do much better by being different. But you just take a look. Take a look at some of
your shows in the morning and the evening. If a guest comes out and says something positive about
me, it's -- it's brutal.
Now, they'll take this news conference -- I'm actually having a very good time, OK? But they'll take this
news conference -- don't forget, that's the way I won. Remember, I used to give you a news conference
every time I made a speech, which was like every day. OK?
TRUMP: No, that's how I won. I won with news conferences and probably speeches. I certainly didn't
win by people listening to you people. That's for sure. But I'm having a good time.
Tomorrow, they will say, "Donald Trump rants and raves at the press." I'm not ranting and raving. I'm
just telling you. You know, you're dishonest people. But -- but I'm not ranting and raving. I love this. I'm
having a good time doing it.
But tomorrow, the headlines are going to be, "Donald Trump rants and raves." I'm not ranting and
QUESTION: If I may, just one more followup...
TRUMP: Should I let him have a little bit more? What do you think, Peter? Peter, should I have -- let him
have a little bit more?
Sit down. Sit down. We'll...
QUESTION: Just because of the attack of fake news and attacking our network, I just want to ask you,
TRUMP: I'm changing it from fake news, though.
QUESTION: Doesn't that under...
TRUMP: Very fake news.
QUESTION: ... I know, but aren't you...
TRUMP: Go ahead.
QUESTION: Real news, Mr. President, real news.
TRUMP: And you're not related to our new...
QUESTION: I am not related, sir. No. I do like the sound of Secretary Acosta, I must say.
TRUMP: I looked -- you know, I looked at that name. I said, wait a minute, is there any relation there?
QUESTION: I'm sure you checked that out, sir.
TRUMP: OK. Now I checked it -- I said -- they said, "No, sir." I said, "Do me a favor, go back and check
the family tree."
QUESTION: But aren't you -- aren't you concerned, sir, that you are undermining the people's faith in the
First Amendment, freedom of the press, the press in this country, when you call stories you don't like
"fake news"? Why not just say it's a story I don't like.
TRUMP: I do that.
QUESTION: When you call it "fake news," you're undermining confidence in our news media (inaudible)
TRUMP: No, no. I do that. Here's the thing. OK. I understand what you're -- and you're right about that,
except this. See, I know when I should get good and when I should get bad. And sometimes I'll say,
"Wow, that's going to be a great story." And I'll get killed.
I know what's good and bad. I'd be a pretty good reporter, not as good as you. But I know what's good.
I know what's bad. And when they change it and make it really bad, something that should be positive
-- sometimes something that should be very positive, they'll make OK. They'll even make it negative.
So I understand it. So, because I'm there. I know what was said. I know who's saying it. I'm there. So it's
very important to me.
Look, I want to see an honest press. When I started off today by saying that it's so important to the
public to get an honest press. The press -- the public doesn't believe you people anymore. Now, maybe
I had something to do with that. I don't know. But they don't believe you. If you were straight and really
told it like it is, as Howard Cosell used to say, right?
Of course, he had some questions also. But if you were straight, I would be your biggest booster. I
would be your biggest fan in the world, including bad stories about me. But if you go - as an example,
you're CNN, I mean it's story after story after story is bad. I won. I won. And the other thing, chaos
because zero chaos. We are running - this is a fine-tuned machine and Reince happens to be doing a
good job but half of his job is putting out lies by the press (ph).
You know, I said to him yesterday this whole Russia scam that you guys are building so that you don't
talk about the real subject which is illegal leaks, but I watched him yesterday working so hard to try and
get that story proper. And I'm saying "here's my chief of staff," a really good guy, did a phenomenal job
at RNC. I mean, he won the election, right?
We won the presidency. We got some senators, we got some - all over the country, you take a look,
he's done a great job. And I said to myself, you know - and I said to somebody that was in the room, I
said "you take a look at Reince, he's working so hard just putting out fires that are fake fires." I mean,
they're fake. They're not true. And isn't that a shame because he'd rather be working on healthcare,
he'd rather be working on tax reform, Jim (ph).
I mean that. I would be your biggest fan in the world if you treated me right. I sort of understand there's
a certain bias maybe by Jeff (ph) or somebody, you know - you know, whatever reason. But - and I
understand that. But you've got to be at least a little bit fair and that's why the public sees it. They see it.
They see it's not fair. You take a look at some of your shows and you see the bias and the hatred.
And the public is smart, they understand it. Go ahead.
QUESTION: (inaudible) ...for those who believe that there is something to it, is there anything that you
have learned over the last few weeks that you might be able to reveal that might ease their concerns
that this isn't fake news? And second...
TRUMP: ...I think they don't believe it. I don't think the public - that's why the Rasmussen poll just has
me through the roof. I don't think they believe it. Well, I guess one of the reasons I'm here today is to tell
you the whole Russian thing, that's a ruse. That's a ruse. And by the way, it would be great if we could
get along with Russia, just so you understand that.
Now tomorrow, you'll say "Donald Trump wants to get along with Russia, this is terrible." It's not terrible.
It's good. We had Hillary Clinton try and do a reset. We had Hillary Clinton give Russia 20 percent of the
uranium in our country. You know what uranium is, right? This thing called nuclear weapons like lots of
things are done with uranium including some bad things.
Nobody talks about that. I didn't do anything for Russia. I've done nothing for Russia. Hillary Clinton gave
them 20 percent of our uranium. Hillary Clinton did a reset, remember? With the stupid plastic button
that made us all look like a bunch of jerks. Here, take a look. He looked at her like, what the hell is she
doing with that cheap plastic button?
Hillary Clinton - that was the reset, remember it said reset? Now if I do that, oh, I'm a bad guy. If we
could get along with Russia, that's a positive thing. We have a very talented man, Rex Tillerson, who's
going to be meeting with them shortly and I told him. I said "I know politically it's probably not good for
me." The greatest thing I could do is shoot that ship that's 30 miles off shore right out of the water.
Everyone in this country's going to say "oh, it's so great." That's not great. That's not great. I would love
to be able to get along with Russia. Now, you've had a lot of presidents that haven't taken that tack.
Look where we are now. Look where we are now. So, if I can - now, I love to negotiate things, I do it
really well, and all that stuff. But - but it's possible I won't be able to get along with Putin.
Maybe it is. But I want to just tell you, the false reporting by the media, by you people, the false, horrible,
fake reporting makes it much harder to make a deal with Russia. And probably Putin said "you know."
He's sitting behind his desk and he's saying "you know, I see what's going on in the United States, I
follow it closely. It's going to be impossible for President Trump to ever get along with Russia because of
all the pressure he's got with this fake story." OK?
And that's a shame because if we could get along with Russia - and by the way, China and Japan and
everyone. If we could get along, it would be a positive thing, not a negative thing.
QUESTION: Is tax reform on the line (ph)?
QUESTION: Mr. President? Mr. President? Mr. President, since you...
TRUMP: Tax reform is going to happen fairly quickly. We're doing Obamacare. We're in final stages. We
should be submitting the initial plan in March, early March, I would say. And we have to, as you know,
statutorily and for reasons of budget, we have to go first. It's not like, frankly, the tax would be easier, in
my opinion, but for statutory reasons and for budgetary reasons, we have to submit the healthcare
So we'll be submitting healthcare sometime in early March, mid- March. And after that, we're going to
come up, and we're doing very well on tax reform.
QUESTION: Mr. President, you mentioned Russia. Let's talk about some serious issues that have come
up in the last week that you have had to deal with as president of the United States.
QUESTION: You mentioned the vessel -- the spy vessel off the coast of the United States.
TRUMP: Not good.
QUESTION: There was a ballistic missile test that many interpret as a violation of an agreement between
the two countries; and a Russian plane buzzed a U.S. destroyer.
TRUMP: Not good.
QUESTION: I listened to you during the campaign ...
TRUMP: Excuse me, excuse me. When did it happen? It happened when, if you were Putin right now,
you would say, "Hey, we're back to the old games with the United States; there's no way Trump can
ever do a deal with us." Because the -- you have to understand. If I was just brutal on Russia right now,
just brutal, people would say, you would say, "Oh, isn't that wonderful." But I know you well enough.
Then you would say, "Oh, he was too tough; he shouldn't have done that." Look, all of the...
QUESTION: I'm just trying to find out your orientation to those...
TRUMP: Wait a minute. Wait, wait. Excuse me just one second.
TRUMP: All of those things that you mentioned are very recent, because probably Putin assumes that
he's not going to be able to make a deal with me because it's politically not popular for me to make a
deal. So Hillary Clinton tries a re-set. It failed. They all tried. But I'm different than those people.
QUESTION: How are you interpreting those moves? And what do you intend to do about them? Have
you given Rex Tillerson any advice or counsel on how to deal?
TRUMP: I have. I have. And I'm so beautifully represented. I'm so honored that the Senate approved him.
He's going to be fantastic.
Yes, I think that I've already...
QUESTION: Is Putin testing you, do you believe, sir?
TRUMP: No, I don't think so. I think Putin probably assumes that he can't make a deal with me anymore
because politically it would be unpopular for a politician to make a deal. I can't believe I'm saying I'm a
politician, but I guess that's what I am now.
Because, look, it would be much easier for me to be tough on Russia, but then we're not going to make
Now, I don't know that we're going to make a deal. I don't know. We might. We might not. But it would
be much easier for me to be so tough -- the tougher I am on Russia, the better. But you know what? I
want to do the right thing for the American people. And to be honest, secondarily, I want to do the right
thing for the world.
If Russia and the United States actually got together and got along -- and don't forget, we're a very
powerful nuclear country and so are they. There's no up-side. We're a very powerful nuclear country
and so are they. I have been briefed. And I can tell you one thing about a briefing that we're allowed to
say because anybody that ever read the most basic book can say it, nuclear holocaust would be like no
They're a very powerful nuclear country and so are we. If we have a good relationship with Russia,
believe me, that's a good thing, not a bad thing.
QUESTION: So when you say they're not good, do you mean that they are...
TRUMP: Who did I say is not good?
QUESTION: No, I read off the three things that have recently happened. Each one of them you said
they're not good.
TRUMP: No, it's not good, but they happened.
QUESTION: But do they damage the relationship? Do they undermine...
TRUMP: They all happened recently.
QUESTION: ... this country's ability to work with Russia?
TRUMP: They all happened recently. And I understand what they're doing because they're doing the
Now, again, maybe I'm not going to be able to do a deal with Russia, but at least I will have tried. And if I
don't, does anybody really think that Hillary Clinton would be tougher on Russia than Donald Trump?
Does anybody in this room really believe that? OK?
But I tell you one thing, she tried to make a deal. She had the re-set. She gave all that valuable uranium
away. She did other things. You know, they say I'm close to Russia. Hillary Clinton gave away 20
percent of the uranium in the United States. She's close to Russia.
QUESTION: Can we...
TRUMP: I gave -- you know what I gave to Russia? You know what I gave? Nothing.
QUESTION: Can we conclude there will be no response to these particular provocations?
TRUMP: I'm not going to tell you anything about what response I do. I don't talk about military response.
I don't say I'm going into Mosul in four months. "We are going to attack Mosul in four months." Then
three months later, "We are going to attack Mosul in one month." "Next week, we are going to attack
In the meantime, Mosul is very, very difficult. Do you know why? Because I don't talk about military, and I
don't talk about certain other things, you're going to be surprised to hear that. And by the way, my
whole campaign, I'd say that. So I don't have to tell you. I don't want to be one of these guys that say,
"Yes, here's what we're going to do." I don't have to do that. I don't have to tell you what I'm going to do
in North Korea.
TRUMP: Wait a minute. I don't have to tell you what I'm going to do in North Korea. And I don't have to
tell you what I'm going to do with Iran. You know why? Because they shouldn't know. And eventually,
you guys are going to get tired of asking that question.
TRUMP: So when you ask me what am I going to do with a ship, the Russian ship as an example, I'm
not going to tell you. But hopefully, I won't have to do anything, but I'm not going to tell you.
QUESTION: Could I just ask you -- thank you very much, Mr. President. The trouble...
TRUMP: Where are you from?
TRUMP: Here's another beauty.
QUESTION: That's a good line. Impartial, free and fair.
TRUMP: Yeah. Sure.
QUESTION: Mr. President...
TRUMP: Just like CNN right?
QUESTION: On the travel ban -- we could banter back and forth. On the travel ban would you accept
that that was a good example of the smooth running of government...
TRUMP: Yeah, I do. I do. Let me tell you about this government...
QUESTION: Were there any mistakes...
TRUMP: Wait. Wait. I know who you are. Just wait.
Let me tell you about the travel ban. We had a very smooth rollout of the travel ban. But we had a bad
court. Got a bad decision. We had a court that's been overturned. Again, may be wrong. But I think it's
80 percent of the time, a lot.
We had a bad decision. We're going to keep going with that decision. We're going to put in a new
executive order next week some time. But we had a bad decision.
That's the other thing that was wrong with the travel ban. You had Delta with a massive problem with
their computer system at the airports. You had some people that were put out there, brought by very
nice busses, and they were put out at various locations.
Despite that the only problem that we had is we had a bad court. We had a court that gave us what I
consider to be, with great respect, a very bad decision. Very bad for the safety and security of our
country. The rollout was perfect.
Now, what I wanted to do was do the exact same executive order, but said one thing. I said this to my
people. Give them a one-month period of time. But Gen. Kelly, now Sec. Kelly, said if you do that, all
these people will come in and (inaudible) the bad ones.
You do agree there are bad people out there, right? That not everybody that's like you. You have some
bad people out there.
Kelly said you can't do that. And he was right. As soon as he said it I said wow, never thought of it. I said
how about one week? He said no good. You got to do it immediately because if you do it immediately
they don't have time to come in.
Now nobody ever reports that. But that's why we did it quickly.
Now, if I would've done it a month, everything would've been perfect. The problem is we would've
wasted a lot of time, and maybe a lot of lives because a lot of bad people would've come into our
Now in the meantime, we're vetting very, very strongly. Very, very strongly. But we need help. And we
need help by getting that executive order passed.
QUESTION: Just a brief follow-up. But if it's so urgent, why not introduce...
TRUMP: Yes? Go ahead.
QUESTION: Thank you. I was just hoping that we could get a yes or no answer on one of these
questions involving Russia. Can you say whether you are aware that anyone who advised your
campaign had contacts with Russia during the course of the election?
TRUMP: Well I told you, Gen. Flynn obviously was dealing. So that's one person. But he was dealing, as
he should have been.
QUESTION: During the election?
TRUMP: No. Nobody that I know of. Nobody...
QUESTION: So you're not aware of any contact during the course..
TRUMP: Look, look, look...
QUESTION: ... of the election?
TRUMP: How many times do I have to answer this question?
QUESTION: Can you just say yes or no? TRUMP: Russia is a ruse.
I know you have to get up and ask a question. It's so important.
Russia is a ruse. I have nothing to do with Russia. Haven't made a phone call to Russia in years. Don't
speak to people from Russia. Not that I wouldn't. I just have nobody to speak to.
I spoke to Putin twice. He called me on the election. I told you this. And he called me on the
inauguration, a few days ago.
We had a very good talk, especially the second one, lasted for a pretty long period of time. I'm sure you
probably get it because it was classified. So I'm sure everybody in this room perhaps has it. But we had
a very, very good talk.
I have nothing to do with Russia. To the best of my knowledge no person that I deal with does.
Now, Manafort has totally denied it. He denied it. Now people knew that he was a consultant over in
that part of the world for a while, but not for Russia. I think he represented Ukraine or people having to
do with Ukraine, or people that -- whoever. But people knew that. Everybody knew that.
QUESTION: But in his capacity as your campaign manager, was he in touch with Russian officials during
TRUMP: You know what? He said no. I could only tell you what he -- now he was replaced long before
the election. You know that, right?
He was replaced long before the election. When all of this stuff started coming out, it came out during
the election. But Paul Manafort, who's a good man also by the way, Paul Manfort was replaced long
before the election took place. He was only there for a short period of time.
QUESTION: Mr. President...
TRUMP: How much longer should we stay here, folks?
QUESTION: Mr. President...
TRUMP: Five more minutes. Is that OK? Five?
QUESTION: Mr. President, on national...
TRUMP: Wait. Let's see. Who's -- I want to find a friendly reporter.
TRUMP: Are you a friendly reporter? Watch how friendly he is. Wait. Wait. Watch how friendly he is. Go
TRUMP: Go ahead.
QUESTION: So first of all, my name is (Inaudible) from (Inaudible) Magazine. I (inaudible). I haven't seen
anybody in my community, including yourself or any of the -- anyone on your staff of being (OFF-MIKE).
Because (OFF-MIKE). However, what we've already heard about and what we (OFF-MIKE) is (OFF-MIKE)
so you're general forecast (ph) like 48 (OFF-MIKE). There are people who are everything (ph) happens
through their packs (ph) is one of the (OFF-MIKE)...
TRUMP:...he said he was gonna ask a very simple, easy question. And it's not, its not, not -- not a simple
question, not a fair question. OK sit down, I understand the rest of your question.
So here's the story, folks. Number one, I am the least anti- Semitic person that you've ever seen in your
entire life. Number two, racism, the least racist person. In fact, we did very well relative to other people
running as a Republican -- quiet, quiet, quiet.
See, he lied about -- he was gonna get up and ask a very straight, simple question, so you know,
welcome to the world of the media. But let me just tell you something, that I hate the charge, I find it
I hate even the question because people that know me and you heard the prime minister, you heard
Ben Netanyahu (ph) yesterday, did you hear him, Bibi? He said, I've known Donald Trump for a long
time and then he said, forget it.
So you should take that instead of having to get up and ask a very insulting question like that.
TRUMP: Yeah, go ahead. Go ahead.
QUESTION: Thank you, I'm Lisa (ph) from the...
TRUMP: See, it just shows you about the press, but that's the way the press is.
QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President. Lisa Dejardown (ph) from the PBS News Hour. On national
security and immigration, can you give us more details on the executive order you plan for next week?
Even its broad outlines?
QUESTION: Will it be focused on specific...
TRUMP: It's a very fair question.
QUESTION: ...countries? And in addition, on the DACA program for immigration.
QUESTION: What is your plan, do you plan to continue that program or to end it?
TRUMP: We're gonna show great heart, DACA is a very, very difficult subject for me, I will tell you. To me,
it's one of the most difficult subjects I have because you have these incredible kids.
In many cases, not in all cases. And some of the cases, having DACA and they're gang members and
they're drug dealers, too. But you have some absolutely, incredible kids, I would say mostly. They were
brought here in such a way -- it's a very -- it's a very, very tough subject.
We're gonna deal with DACA with heart. I have to deal with a lot of politicians, don't forget and I have to
convince them that what I'm saying is -- is right. And I appreciate your understanding on that.
But the DACA situation is a very, very -- it's a very difficult thing for me because you know, I love these
kids, I love kids, I have kids and grandkids. And I find it very, very hard doing what the law says exactly
to do and you know, the law is rough.
I'm not talking about new laws, I'm talking the existing law, is very rough, it's very, very rough. As far as
the new order, the new order is going to be very much tailored to the what I consider to be a very bad
But we can tailor the order to that decision and get just about everything, in some ways, more. But
we're tailoring it now to the decision, we have some of the best lawyers in the country working on it.
And the new executive order, is being tailored to the decision we got down from the court. OK?
QUESTION: Mr. President...
(CROSSTALK) QUESTION: ...reopening of the White House Visitors Office?
QUESTION: And she does a lot of great work for the country as well (ph). Can you talk a little bit about
what's first for (ph) Melania Trump does for the country and (inaudible) so opening White House Visitors
Office, what does that mean...
TRUMP: Now, that's what I call a nice question. That is very -- who are you with?
TRUMP: Good, I'm gonna start watching, all right? Thank you very much. Melania's terrific, she was here
last night, we had dinner with Senator Rubio and his wife who is by the way, lovely.
And we had a really good discussion about Cuba because we have very similar views on Cuba. And
Cuba was very good to me in the Florida election, as you know the Cuban Americans. And I think that
Melania's gonna be outstanding, that's right, she just opened up the visitors center, in other words,
touring of the White House.
She, like others that she's working with, feel very, very strongly about women's issue, women's
difficulties. Very, very strongly, she's a very, very strong advocate. I think she's a great representative for
And a funny thing happens, because she gets -- she gets so unfairly -- Melania, the things they say. I've
known her for a long time, she was a very successful person, she was a very successful model. She did
She would go home at night and didn't even want to go out with people. She was a very private person.
She was always the highest quality that you'll ever find. And the things they say -- I've known her for a
long time -- the things they say are so unfair. And actually, she's been apologized to, as you know, by
various media because they said things that were lies.
I'll just tell you this. I think she's going to be a fantastic first lady. She's going to be a tremendous
representative of women and of the people. And helping her and working her will be Ivanka, who is a
fabulous person and a fabulous, fabulous woman. And they're not doing this for money.
They're not doing this for pay, they're doing this because they feel it; both of them. And Melania goes
back and forth and after Barron finishes school -- because it's hard to take a child out of school with a
few months left -- she and Barron will be moving over to the White House. OK, thank you, that's a very
TRUMP: Go ahead. QUESTION: Mr. Trump?
TRUMP: Yes, oh, this is going to be a bad question, but that's OK.
QUESTION: It doesn't(ph) have(ph) to be a bad question.
TRUMP: Good, because I enjoy watching you on television. Go ahead.
QUESTION: Well, thank you so much. Mr. President, I need to find out from you, you said something as it
relates to inner cities. That was one of your platforms during your campaign. Now you're -TRUMP: Fix the inner cities.
QUESTION: -- president. Fixing the inner cities.
QUESTION: What will be that fix and your urban agenda as well as your HBCU Executive Order that's
coming out this afternoon? See, it wasn't bad, was it?
TRUMP: That was very professional and very good.
QUESTION: I'm very professional.
TRUMP: We'll be announcing the order in a little while and I'd rather let the order speak for itself. But it
could be something that I think that will be very good for everybody concerned. But we'll talk to you
about that after we do the announcement. As far as the inner cities, as you know, I was very strong on
the inner cities during the campaign.
I think it's probably what got me a much higher percentage of the African American vote than a lot of
people thought I was going to get. We did, you know, much higher than people thought I was going to
get. And I was honored by that, including the Hispanic vote, which was also much higher.
And by the way, if I might add, including the women's vote, which was much higher than people
thought I was going to get. So, we are going to be working very hard on the inner cities, having to do
with education, having to do with crime. We're going to try and fix as quickly as possible -- you know, it
takes a long time.
It's taken more a hundred years and more for some of these places to evolve and they evolved, many of
them, very badly. But we're going to be working very hard on health and healthcare, very, very hard on
education, and also we're going to be working in a stringent way, in a very good way, on crime.
You go to some of these inner city places and it's so sad when you look at the crime. You have people
-- and I've seen this, and I've sort of witnessed it -- in fact, in two cases I have actually witnessed it. They
lock themselves into apartments, petrified to even leave, in the middle of the day.
They're living in hell. We can't let that happen. So, we're going to be very, very strong. That's a great
question and -- and it's a -- it's a very difficult situation because it's been many, many years. It's been
festering for many, many years. But we have places in this country that we have to fix.
We have to help African American people that, for the most part, are stuck there. Hispanic American
people. We have Hispanic American people that are in the inner cities and their living in hell. I mean, you
look at the numbers in Chicago. There are two Chicagos, as you know.
There's one Chicago that's incredible, luxurious and all -- and safe. There's another Chicago that's
worse than almost any of the places in the Middle East that we talk, and that you talk about, every night
on the newscasts. So, we're going to do a lot of work on the inner cities.
I have great people lined up to help with the inner cities. OK?
QUESTION: Well, when you say the inner cities, are you going -- are you going to include the CBC, Mr.
President, in your conversations with your -- your urban agenda, your inner city agenda, as well as --
TRUMP: Am I going to include who?
QUESTION: Are you going to include the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional -TRUMP: Well, I would. I tell you what, do you want to set up the meeting?
QUESTION: -- Hispanic Caucus -TRUMP: Do you want to set up the meeting?
QUESTION: No -- no -- no. I'm not -TRUMP: Are they friends of yours?
QUESTION: I'm just a reporter.
TRUMP: Well, then(ph) set up the meeting.
QUESTION: I know some of them, but I'm sure they're watching right now.
TRUMP: Let's go set up a meeting. I would love to meet with the Black Caucus. I think it's great, the
Congressional Black Caucus. I think it's great. I actually thought I had a meeting with Congressman
Cummings and he was all excited. And then he said, well, I can't move, it might be bad for me politically.
I can't have that meeting.
I was all set to have the meeting. You know, we called him and called him. And he was all set. I spoke to
him on the phone, very nice guy.
QUESTION: I hear he wanted that meeting with you as well.
TRUMP: He wanted it, but we called, called, called and can't make a meeting with him. Every day I walk
and say I would like to meet with him because I do want to solve the problem. But he probably was told
by Schumer or somebody like that, some other lightweight. He was probably told - he was probably told
"don't meet with Trump. It's bad politics."
And that's part of the problem in this country. OK, one more.
TRUMP: No, no, one question. Two we can't handle. This room can't handle two. Go ahead, give me the
better of your two.
QUESTION: (inaudible) ...not about your personality or your beliefs, talking about (inaudible), some of it
by supporters in your name. What do you...
TRUMP: ...And some of it - can I be honest with you? And this has to do with racism and horrible things
that are put up. Some of it written by our opponents. You do know that. Do you understand that? You
don't think anybody would do a thing like that. Some of the signs you'll see are not put up by the people
that love or like Donald Trump, they're put up by the other side and you think it's like playing it straight?
No. But you have some of those signs and some of that anger is caused by the other side. They'll do
signs and they'll do drawings that are inappropriate. It won't be my people. It will be the people on the
other side to anger people like you. OK.
TRUMP: Go ahead, go ahead.
QUESTION: You're the president now. What are you going to do about it?
TRUMP: Who is that? Where is that?
QUESTION: What are you going to do about - what are you going to do about (inaudible).
TRUMP: Oh, I'm working on it. I'm working on it very - no, no, look. Hey, just so you understand, we had
a totally divided country for eight years and long before that. In all fairness to President Obama, long
before President Obama we have had a very divided - I didn't come along and divide this country. This
country was seriously divided before I got here.
We're going to work on it very hard. One of the questions I was asked, I thought it was a very good
question was about the inner cities. I mean, that's part of it. But we're going to work on education, we're
going to work on - you know, we're going to stop - we're going to try and stop the crime. We have great
law enforcement officials, we're going to try and stop crime.
We're not going to try and stop, we're going to stop crime. But it's very important to me - but this isn't
Donald Trump that divided a nation. We went eight years with President Obama and we went many
years before President Obama. We lived in a divided nation. And I am going to try - I will do everything
within my power to fix that. I want to thank everybody very much.
It's a great honor to be with you. Thank you. Thank you very much, thanks.
DC restaurant alleges
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Trump vs. Obama: A rocky relationship
It took FOIA for Park
Service to release photos
of Obama, Trump…
Trump Signs New Travel Ban Order
Last Updated: March 06, 2017 11:35 PM William Gallo
WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump signed a new executive order
Monday, barring travelers from six countries to the United States for three
months, and all refugees for four months, after federal appeals judges blocked a
similar order last month.
The new ban includes a grace period and will take effect on March 16. It will not
affect legal permanent residents — those with green cards — or travelers who
already had valid visas as of Jan. 27, 2017.
"This executive order is a vital measure for strengthening our national security,"
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said at press conference announcing the new
ban. "It is the president's solemn duty to protect the American people."
The rollout of the new security measures amounts to an acknowledgement by
the Trump administration that its original travel ban, issued January 27, was
But critics immediately assailed the new order as merely making "cosmetic
changes" to the original ban and argued that it still creates a religious test for
entering the United States and will therefore not stand up to judicial scrutiny.
WATCH: Related video report by Steve Herman
In an attempt to ensure a smoother rollout of the travel ban and protect it from
legal scrutiny, the new executive order differs from the old version in several key
Among the most notable changes is the exclusion of Iraqis from the list of
suspended travelers. The new order bans nationals and citizens from Iran, Libya,
Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
Monday’s order also removes a provision indefinitely barring Syrian refugees
from the U.S. Also removed is language giving preference to "religious
minorities," a provision that had been widely seen as an attempt to follow
through on Trump's promise to prioritize Christian refugees.
Iraq promises more cooperation
Iraq was removed from the list after officials there promised increased
cooperation with U.S. officials regarding the vetting process, according to a
senior official with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), who spoke to
reporters on a conference call.
Baghdad, a key ally in the U.S. fight against Islamic State militants, had
complained when Iraq was included in the original travel ban.
"The close cooperative relationship between the United States and the
democratically-elected Iraqi government, the strong U.S. diplomatic presence in
Iraq, the significant presence of U.S. forces in Iraq, and Iraq's commitment to
combat ISIS justify different treatment," said a Q&A sheet distributed by the
Trump administration. ISIS is an acronym for Islamic State.
WATCH: Tillerson on removal of Iraq
Critics of the original order questioned whether the seven countries affected —
all majority-Muslim — were targeted for religious reasons. The DHS official on
Monday again denied those accusations, saying: "This is not a Muslim ban in any
way, shape or form."
White House officials also stressed the temporary nature of the order, but
suggested that the travel ban may be expanded after the 90 days expire and that
other countries could be added to the list.
Even with the changes, the bill is still likely to face legal challenges by groups
that view the order as a partial fulfillment of Trump's campaign call for a "total
and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States."
"Nothing substantive has changed," said Lavinia Limon, who heads the U.S.
Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI). "It's around the edges, right?
If this had come out a month ago, we would be outraged."
The American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, which filed successful legal
challenges against the original order, also said the revised ban "has the same
fatal flaws" as the original.
"These are again, simply cosmetic changes," said Ed Yohnka, the ACLU's
Director of Communications and Public Policy. "This is still unconstitutional,
this remains a religious test to enter the United States of America. This is
something fundamentally that our nation has never permitted. And we will not
permit it again."
"The only way to actually fix the Muslim ban is not to have a Muslim ban.
Instead, President Trump has recommitted himself to religious discrimination,
and he can expect continued disapproval from both the courts and the people,"
said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU's Immigrant Rights Project. "What's
more, the changes the Trump administration has made, and everything we've
learned since the original ban rolled out, completely undermine the bogus
national security justifications the president has tried to hide behind and only
strengthen the case against his unconstitutional executive orders."
White House: Ban needed to mitigate refugee risk
Administration officials, meanwhile, were walking a fine line between insisting
the new order was different enough from the old measure to withstand legal
challenges but similar enough so that it would still be effective.
"The principles of the executive order remain the same," said White House press
secretary Sean Spicer, adding, "We continue to maintain the [original travel ban]
order was fully lawful."
The Trump administration leans heavily on the rationale that refugees, as well as
immigrants and travelers from certain countries, are a security risk to the United
States; however, it has proffered little evidence of that risk.
White House officials on Monday released a memorandum saying that the FBI is
carrying out "terrorism-related investigations" into approximately 300
individuals across the U.S. who were admitted as refugees. It is not clear whether
those being investigated came from the list of banned countries, or how many
have been charged with a crime.
When pushed for details, the senior DHS official declined further comment,
saying only that the 300 people were being investigated for "potential
terrorism-related activities" and that it was "truly an alarming number from all
Filippo Grandi, who heads the U.N.'s refugee agency, said the U.S. has long been
a partner in finding solutions for refugees, but expressed concern about how the
order will affect those fleeing violence and persecution.
"The imperative remains to provide protection from people fleeing deadly
violence, and we are concerned that this decision, though temporary, may
compound the anguish for those it affects," Grandi said.
* Differences in executive orders restricting travel (click here to see)
Administration officials are promising a smoother rollout this time, insisting the
White House has cooperated with DHS, the State Department, and the Justice
Department on drafting and implementing the new executive order.
"We're going to have a very smooth implementation period," the senior DHS
officials told reporters in a press call, adding that there will not be any "chaos, or
alleged chaos" at airports.
WATCH: Kelly on vetting of refugees seeking to enter US
The original order was announced early on the evening of Jan. 27 — a Friday
right when most federal employees were finishing their first full week of work
under the new administration — creating confusion at international airports
across the country.
Travelers from the seven countries — including legal permanent residents of the
United States — were detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents.
Law enforcement didn’t know what to do with the refugees mid-flight when the
order came down that banned them, as well.
Still others were turned away at airports abroad, denied by airline officials who
questioned the validity of their already-issued visas.
DHS Secretary John Kelly, who was confirmed by the Senate a week before the
original executive order was issued, shouldered the blame for the bungled
implementation of the original order.
"The thinking was to get it out quick so that potentially people that might be
coming here to harm us would not take advantage of some period of time they
could jump on an airplane and get here," he testified at a hearing of the House
Homeland Security Committee on Feb. 7.
More than a dozen lawsuits were filed across the country challenging the January
order. Federal appeals court judges ruled in February to suspend the order in
support of the "free flow of travel," as well as "in avoiding separation of
families, and in freedom from discrimination."
Trump’s travel restrictions have not received broad public support. A poll
released in late February by Pew Research Center showed that 59 percent of
those surveyed opposed the ban, while 38 percent approved.
A CNN poll released Monday suggested that 55 percent of Americans disapprove
of the way Trump has handled immigration issues, compared to 44 percent who
approve. On national security issues, Americans were split, the poll found, with
50 percent approving and 49 percent disapproving.
WATCH: History of US Immigration Restrictions
Inside the confusion of the Trump executive
order and travel ban
By Evan Perez, Pamela Brown and Kevin Liptak, CNN
Updated 11:29 AM ET, Mon January 30, 2017
Trump's unilateral moves reflect the
President's desire to quickly make good on his
But they also encapsulate the pitfalls of an
administration largely operated by officials
with scant federal experience
The White House overruled DHS regarding
allowing green card holders to enter the
Trump's immigration order: Which
countries are affected?
Washington (CNN) — When President Donald
Trump declared at the Pentagon Friday he was
enacting strict new measures to prevent domestic
terror attacks, there were few within his government
who knew exactly what he meant.
Administration officials weren't immediately sure
which countries' citizens would be barred from
entering the United States. The Department of
Homeland Security was left making a legal analysis
on the order after Trump signed it. A Border Patrol
agent, confronted with arriving refugees, referred
questions only to the President himself, according to
Saturday night, a federal judge granted an
emergency stay for citizens of the affected countries
who had already arrived in the US and those who
are in transit and hold valid visas, ruling they can
legally enter the US.
Trump's unilateral moves, which have drawn the
ire of human rights groups and prompted protests
at US airports, reflect the President's desire to
quickly make good on his campaign promises. But
they also encapsulate the pitfalls of an
administration largely operated by officials with
scant federal experience.
It wasn't until Friday -- the day Trump signed the
order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority
countries for 90 days and suspending all refugee
admission for 120 days -- that career homeland
security staff were allowed to see the final details
of the order, a person familiar with the matter said.
The result was widespread confusion across the
country on Saturday as airports struggled to adjust
to the new directives. In New York, two Iraqi
nationals sued the federal government after they
were detained at John F. Kennedy International
Airport, and 10 others were detained as well.
Related Article: More protests against
Trump's immigration policies planned
The ban and its impact
What we know so far
What it's like in the 7 impacted countries
How the countries were chosen
What the ban says: The full text
What to know about the restrictions
Is the ban legal?
These are the people directly impacted
The ban's Christian focus
A family's plight just got more
• Bergen: Trump's big mistake
• All of Trump's executive orders, memos
• Comparing Trump to previous
In Philadelphia, a Syrian family of six who had a
visa through a family connection in the US was
placed on a return flight to Doha, Qatar, and
Department of Homeland Security officials said
others who were in the air would be detained upon
arrival and put back on a plane to their home
Asked during a photo opportunity in the Oval Office
Saturday afternoon about the rollout, Trump said
his government was "totally prepared."
"It's working out very nicely," Trump told reporters.
"You see it at the airports. You see it all over. It's
working out very nicely and we're going to have a
very, very strict ban, and we're going to have
extreme vetting, which we should have had in this
country for many years."
The policy team at the White House developed the
executive order on refugees and visas, and largely
avoided the traditional interagency process that
would have allowed the Justice Department and
homeland security agencies to provide operational
guidance, according to numerous officials who
spoke to CNN on Saturday.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and
Department of Homeland Security leadership saw
the final details shortly before the order was
finalized, government officials said.
Friday night, DHS arrived at the legal interpretation
that the executive order restrictions applying to
seven countries -- Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria,
Sudan and Yemen -- did not apply to people with
lawful permanent residence, generally referred to
as green card holders.
The White House overruled that guidance
overnight, according to officials familiar with the
rollout. That order came from the President's inner
circle, led by Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon.
Related Article: Trump's immigration ban
Related Video: Travel ban affects citizens
of 7 Muslim-majority nations 02:26
Their decision held that, on a case by case basis,
DHS could allow green card holders to enter the
There had been some debate whether green card
holders should be even allowed to board
international flights. It was decided by the
Department of Homeland Security they could fly to
the US and would be considered on a case-bycase basis after passing a secondary screening.
But the guidance sent to airlines on Friday night,
obtained by CNN, said clearly, "lawful permanent
residents are not included and may continue to
travel to the USA."
As of Saturday afternoon, Customs and Border
Protection continued to issue the same guidance
to airlines as it did Friday, telling airlines that fly to
the US that green card holders can board planes
to the US but they may get extra scrutiny on arrival,
according to an airline official.
Before the President issued the order, the White
House did not seek the legal guidance of the Office
of Legal Counsel, the Justice Department office
that interprets the law for the executive branch,
according to a source familiar with the process.
White House officials disputed that Sunday
morning, saying that OLC signed off and agency
review was performed.
Related Video: Iran says it will ban US
A source said the creation of the executive order did not follow the standard agency review process
that's typically overseen by the National Security Council.
Related Video: Trump: Travel ban
working out very nicely 01:07
Separately, a person familiar with the matter said
career officials in charge of enforcing the executive
order were not fully briefed on the specifics until
Friday. The officials were caught off guard by some
of the specifics and raised questions about how to
handle the new banned passengers on US-bound
Regarding the green card holders and some of the
confusion about whether they were impacted, the
person familiar with the matter said if career
officials had known more about the executive
order earlier, some of the confusion could have
been avoided and a better plan could be in place.
Administration officials also defended the process
Saturday. They said the people who needed to be
briefed ahead of time on the plane were briefed
and that people at the State Department and DHS who were involved in the process were able to make
decisions about who to talk and inform about this.
Executive orders: Read more
• All of Trump's executive orders, memos
• Will the orders and actions stick?
• How Trump's actions stack up against
• What Trump can and cannot do
• What's the difference between and
order and action?
Bannon and Miller were running point on this order
and giving directives regarding green cards,
according to a Republican close to the White
But even after the Friday afternoon announcement,
administration officials at the White House took
several hours to produce text of the action until
several hours after it was signed. Adviser Kellyanne
Conway even said at one point it was not going to
be released before eventually it did get sent out.
Administration officials also seemed unsure at first
who was covered in the action, and a list of
impacted countries was only produced later on
Friday night, hours after the President signed the
document at the Pentagon.
This story has been updated to include the White House's response on the issue of Justice Department
CNN's Rene Marsh and Athena Jones contributed to this report.
Cummings, Trump find
on Donald Trump
common ground on need
for drug pricing reforms
It took FOIA for Park
Service to release photos
of Obama, Trump…
Trump vs. Obama: A rocky relationship
Judge Blocks Trump Order on Refugees
Amid Chaos and Outcry Worldwide
By MICHAEL D. SHEAR, NICHOLAS KULISH and ALAN FEUER JAN. 28, 2017
WASHINGTON — A federal judge in Brooklyn came to the aid of scores of refugees
and others who were trapped at airports across the United States on Saturday after
an executive order signed by President Trump, which sought to keep many
foreigners from entering the country, led to chaotic scenes across the globe.
The judge’s ruling blocked part of the president’s actions, preventing the
government from deporting some arrivals who found themselves ensnared by the
presidential order. But it stopped short of letting them into the country or issuing a
broader ruling on the constitutionality of Mr. Trump’s actions.
The high-stakes legal case played out on Saturday amid global turmoil, as the
executive order signed by the president slammed shut the borders of the United
States for an Iranian scientist headed to a lab in Massachusetts, a Syrian refugee
family headed to a new life in Ohio and countless others across the world.
The president’s order, enacted with the stroke of a pen at 4:42 p.m. Friday,
suspended entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, barred Syrian
refugees indefinitely, and blocked entry into the United States for 90 days for
citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan,
Syria and Yemen.
The Department of Homeland Security said that the order also barred green card
holders from those countries from re-entering the United States. In a briefing for
reporters, White House officials said that green card holders from the seven affected
countries who are outside the United States would need a case-by-case waiver to
Mr. Trump — in office just a week — found himself accused of constitutional
and legal overreach by two Iraqi immigrants, defended by the American Civil
Liberties Union. Meanwhile, large crowds of protesters turned out at airports around
the country to denounce Mr. Trump’s ban on the entry of refugees and people from
seven predominantly Muslim countries.
Lawyers who sued the government to block the White House order said the
judge’s decision could affect an estimated 100 to 200 people who were detained
upon arrival at American airports.
Judge Ann M. Donnelly of Federal District Court in Brooklyn, who was
nominated by former President Barack Obama, ruled just before 9 p.m. that
implementing Mr. Trump’s order by sending the travelers home could cause them
“irreparable harm.” She said the government was “enjoined and restrained from, in
any manner and by any means, removing individuals” who had arrived in the United
States with valid visas or refugee status.
The ruling does not appear to force the administration to let in people otherwise
blocked by Mr. Trump’s order who have not yet traveled to the United States.
The judge’s one-page ruling came swiftly after lawyers for the A.C.L.U. testified
in her courtroom that one of the people detained at an airport was being put on a
plane to be deported back to Syria at that very moment. A government lawyer, Gisela
A. Westwater, who spoke to the court by phone from Washington, said she simply
did not know.
Hundreds of people waited outside of the courthouse chanting, “Set them free!”
as lawyers made their case. When the crowd learned that Judge Donnelly had ruled
in favor of the plaintiffs, a rousing cheer went up in the crowd.
Minutes after the judge’s ruling in New York City, another judge, Leonie M.
Brinkema of Federal District Court in Virginia, issued a temporary restraining order
for a week to block the removal of any green card holders being detained at Dulles
In a statement released early Sunday morning, the Department of Homeland
Security said it would continue to enforce all of the president’s executive orders, even
while complying with judicial decisions. “Prohibited travel will remain prohibited,”
the department said in a statement, adding that the directive was “a first step
towards re-establishing control over America’s borders and national security.”
Around the nation, security personnel at major international airports had new
rules to follow, though the application of the order appeared chaotic and uneven.
Humanitarian organizations delivered the bad news to overseas families that had
overcome the bureaucratic hurdles previously in place and were set to travel. And
refugees already on flights when the order was signed on Friday found themselves
detained upon arrival.
“We’ve gotten reports of people being detained all over the country,” said Becca
Heller, the director of the International Refugee Assistance Project. “They’re literally
pouring in by the minute.”
Earlier in the day, at the White House, Mr. Trump shrugged off the sense of
anxiety and disarray, suggesting that there had been an orderly rollout. “It’s not a
Muslim ban, but we were totally prepared,” he said. “It’s working out very nicely.
You see it at the airports, you see it all over.”
But to many, the government hardly seemed prepared for the upheaval that Mr.
Trump’s actions put into motion.
There were numerous reports of students attending American universities who
were blocked from returning to the United States from visits abroad. One student
said in a Twitter post that he would be unable to study at Yale. Another who attends
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was refused permission to board a plane.
A Sudanese graduate student at Stanford University was blocked for hours from
entering the country.
Human rights groups reported that legal permanent residents of the United
States who hold green cards were being stopped in foreign airports as they sought to
return from funerals, vacations or study abroad. There was widespread
condemnation of the order, from religious leaders, business executives, academics,
political leaders and others. Mr. Trump’s supporters offered praise, calling it a
necessary step on behalf of the nation’s security.
Homeland Security officials said on Saturday night that 109 people who were
already in transit to the United States when the order was signed were denied access;
173 were stopped before boarding planes heading to America. Eighty-one people
who were stopped were eventually given waivers to enter the United States, officials
Legal residents who have a green card and are currently in the United States
should meet with a consular officer before leaving the country, a White House
official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told reporters. Officials did not
clarify the criteria that would qualify someone for a waiver, other than that it would
be granted “in the national interest.”
But the week-old administration appeared to be implementing the order
chaotically, with agencies and officials around the globe interpreting it in different
The Stanford student, Nisrin Omer, a legal permanent resident, said she was
held at Kennedy International Airport in New York for about five hours but was
eventually allowed to leave the airport. Others who were detained appeared to be
still in custody or sent back to their home countries.
White House aides claimed on Saturday that there had been consultations with
State Department and homeland security officials about carrying out the order.
“Everyone who needed to know was informed,” one aide said.
But that assertion was denied by multiple officials with knowledge of the
interactions, including two officials at the State Department. Leaders of Customs and
Border Protection and of Citizenship and Immigration Services — the two agencies
most directly affected by the order — were on a telephone briefing on the new policy
even as Mr. Trump signed it on Friday, two officials said.
The A.C.L.U.’s legal case began with two Iraqis detained at Kennedy Airport, the
named plaintiffs in the case. One was en route to reunite with his wife and son in
Texas. The other had served alongside Americans in Iraq for a decade.
Shortly after noon on Saturday, Hameed Khalid Darweesh, an interpreter who
worked for more than a decade on behalf of the United States government in Iraq,
was released. After nearly 19 hours of detention, Mr. Darweesh began to cry as he
spoke to reporters, putting his hands behind his back and miming handcuffs.
“What I do for this country? They put the cuffs on,” Mr. Darweesh said. “You
know how many soldiers I touch by this hand?”
The other man the lawyers are representing, Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq
Alshawi, who was en route to Houston, was released Saturday night.
Before the two men were released, one of the lawyers, Mark Doss, a supervising
attorney at the International Refugee Assistance Project, asked an official, “Who is
the person we need to talk to?”
“Call Mr. Trump,” said the official, who declined to identify himself.
While the judge’s ruling means that none of the detainees will be sent back
immediately, lawyers for the plaintiffs in the case expressed concern that all those at
the airports would now be put in detention, pending a resolution of the case.
The White House said the restrictions would protect “the United States from
foreign nationals entering from countries compromised by terrorism” and allow the
administration time to put in place “a more rigorous vetting process.” But critics
condemned Mr. Trump over the collateral damage on people who had no sinister
intentions in trying to come to the United States.
Peaceful protests began forming Saturday afternoon at Kennedy Airport, where
nine travelers had been detained upon arrival at Terminal 7 and two others at
Terminal 4, an airport official said. Similar scenes were playing out at other airports
across the nation.
An official message to all American diplomatic posts around the world provided
instructions about how to treat people from the countries affected: “Effective
immediately, halt interviewing and cease issuance and printing” of visas to the
Internationally, confusion turned to panic as travelers found themselves unable
to board flights bound for the United States. In Dubai and Istanbul, airport and
immigration officials turned passengers away at boarding gates and, in at least one
case, ejected a family from a flight it had boarded.
Seyed Soheil Saeedi Saravi, a promising young Iranian scientist, had been
scheduled to travel in the coming days to Boston, where he had been awarded a
fellowship to study cardiovascular medicine at Harvard, according to Thomas
Michel, the professor who was to supervise the research fellowship.
But Professor Michel said the visas for the student and his wife had been
“This outstanding young scientist has enormous potential to make contributions
that will improve our understanding of heart disease, and he has already been
thoroughly vetted,” Professor Michel wrote to The New York Times.
A Syrian family of six who have been living in a Turkish refugee camp since
fleeing their home in 2014 had been scheduled to arrive on Tuesday in Cleveland.
Instead, the family’s trip has been called off.
“Everyone is just so heartbroken, so angry, so sad,” said Danielle Drake, the
community manager for US Together, an agency that resettles refugees.
A Christian family of six from Syria said in an email to Representative Charlie
Dent, Republican of Pennsylvania, that they were being detained on Saturday
morning at Philadelphia International Airport despite having legal paperwork, green
cards and visas that had been approved.
In the case of the two Iraqis held at Kennedy Airport, the legal filings by his
lawyers say that Mr. Darweesh was granted a special immigrant visa on Jan. 20, the
same day Mr. Trump was sworn in as president.
A husband and father of three, Mr. Darweesh arrived at Kennedy Airport with
his family. Mr. Darweesh’s wife and children made it through passport control and
customs, but agents of Customs and Border Protection detained him.
In Istanbul, during a stopover on Saturday, passengers reported that security
officers had entered a plane after everyone had boarded and ordered a young Iranian
woman and her family to leave the aircraft.
Iranian green card holders who live in the United States were blindsided by the
decree while on vacation in Iran, finding themselves in a legal limbo and unsure
whether they would be able to return to America.
“How do I get back home now?” said Daria Zeynalia, a green card holder who
was visiting family in Iran. He had rented a house and leased a car, and would be
eligible for citizenship in November. “What about my job? If I can’t go back soon, I’ll
Michael D. Shear reported from Washington, and Nicholas Kulish and Alan Feuer from
New York. Reporting was contributed by Mark Mazzetti, Matthew Rosenberg, Ron
Nixon and Adam Liptak from Washington; Thomas Erdbrink from Tehran; Manny
Fernandez from Houston; Julie Bosman from Chicago; and Liam Stack, Russell
Goldman, Joe Goldstein, Liz Robbins, Stephanie Saul and Sean Piccoli from New York.
A version of this article appears in print on January 29, 2017, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the
headline: Judge Blocks Trump Order On Refugees.
© 2017 The New York Times Company
Malevolence Tempered by Incompetence: Trump’s
Horrifying Executive Order on Refugees and Visas
By Benjamin Wittes
Saturday, January 28, 2017, 10:58 PM
Omphalos: Middle East Conflict in Perspective
The malevolence of President Trump’s Executive Order on visas and refugees is
mitigated chiefly—and perhaps only—by the astonishing incompetence of its
drafting and construction.
NBC is reporting that the document was not reviewed by DHS, the Justice
Department, the State Department, or the Department of Defense, and that National
Security Council lawyers were prevented from evaluating it. Moreover, the New York
Times writes that Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Citizen and Immigration
Services, the agencies tasked with carrying out the policy, were only given a briefing
call while Trump was actually signing the order itself. Yesterday, the Department of
Justice gave a “no comment” when asked whether the Office of Legal Counsel had
reviewed Trump’s executive orders—including the order at hand. (OLC normally
reviews every executive order.)
This order reads to me, frankly, as though it was not reviewed by competent counsel
CNN offers extraordinary details:
Administration officials weren't immediately sure which countries' citizens
would be barred from entering the United States. The Department of
Homeland Security was left making a legal analysis on the order after Trump
signed it. A Border Patrol agent, confronted with arriving refugees, referred
questions only to the President himself, according to court filings.
It wasn't until Friday -- the day Trump signed the order banning travel from
seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and suspending all refugee
admission for 120 days -- that career homeland security staff were allowed to
see the final details of the order, a person with the familiar the matter said.
The policy team at the White House developed the executive order on
refugees and visas, and largely avoided the traditional interagency process
that would have allowed the Justice Department and homeland security
agencies to provide operational guidance, according to numerous officials
who spoke to CNN on Saturday.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Department of Homeland
Security leadership saw the final details shortly before the order was finalized,
government officials said.
Friday night, DHS arrived at the legal interpretation that the executive order
restrictions applying to seven countries -- Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria,
Sudan and Yemen -- did not apply to people who with lawful permanent
residence, generally referred to as green card holders.
The White House overruled that guidance overnight, according to officials
familiar with the rollout. That order came from the President's inner circle,
led by Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon. Their decision held that, on a case by
case basis, DHS could allow green card holders to enter the US.
As I shall explain, in the short term, the incompetence is actually good news for
people who believe in visa and refugee policies based on criteria other than—let’s
not be coy about this—bigotry and religious discrimination. The President has
created a target-rich environment for litigation that will make his policies, I suspect,
less effective than they would have been had he subjected his order to vetting one
percent as extreme as the vetting to which he proposes to subject refugees from
Bashar al-Assad and the bombing raids of Vladimir Putin.
Indeed, even as I write these
words, the ACLU has already
If you are finding Lawfare useful in
succeeded in petitioning a federal
these times, please consider making a
court for a class-wide stay of
contribution to support what we do.
deportations of immigrants and
refugees trapped in airports by
Trump’s order. And a federal judge
in Virginia has issued a temporary
restraining order preventing the
removal of green card holders
detained in Dulles International
Airport and requiring that these
legal residents of the United States have access to counsel.
In the broader sense, however, it is most emphatically not good news to have a
White House that just makes decisions with no serious thought or interagency input
into what those decisions might mean. In fact, it’s really dangerous.
Let’s start with the malevolence of the document, which Amira Mikhail summarized
and Adham Sahloul analyzed earlier today. I don’t use the word “malevolence” here
lightly. As readers of my work know, I believe in strong counterterrorism powers. I
defend non-criminal detention. I’ve got no problem with drone strikes. I’m
positively enthusiastic about American surveillance policies. I was much less
offended than others were by the CIA’s interrogations in the years after September
11. I have defended military commissions.
Some of these policies were effective; some were not. Some worked out better than
others. And I don’t mean to relitigate any of those questions here. My sole point is
that all of these policies were conceptualized and designed and implemented by
people who were earnestly trying to protect the country from very real threats. And
the policies were, to a one, proximately related to important goals in the effort.
While some of these policies proved tragically misguided and caused great harm to
innocent people, none of them was designed or intended to be cruel to vulnerable,
concededly innocent people. Even the CIA’s interrogation program, after all, was
deployed against people the agency believed (mostly correctly) to be senior terrorists
of the most dangerous sort and to garner information from them that would prevent
I actually cannot say that about Trump’s new executive order—and neither can
Here’s how the order describes its purpose:
Section 1. Purpose. The visa-issuance process plays a crucial role in detecting
individuals with terrorist ties and stopping them from entering the United
States. Perhaps in no instance was that more apparent than the terrorist
attacks of September 11, 2001, when State Department policy prevented
consular officers from properly scrutinizing the visa applications of several of
the 19 foreign nationals who went on to murder nearly 3,000 Americans. And
while the visa-issuance process was reviewed and amended after the
September 11 attacks to better detect would-be terrorists from receiving visas,
these measures did not stop attacks by foreign nationals who were admitted
to the United States.
Numerous foreign-born individuals have been convicted or implicated in
terrorism-related crimes since September 11, 2001, including foreign
nationals who entered the United States after receiving visitor, student, or
employment visas, or who entered through the United States refugee
resettlement program. Deteriorating conditions in certain countries due to
war, strife, disaster, and civil unrest increase the likelihood that terrorists will
use any means possible to enter the United States. The United States must be
vigilant during the visa-issuance process to ensure that those approved for
admission do not intend to harm Americans and that they have no ties to
In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those
admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its
founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those
who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent
ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit
those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including "honor" killings,
other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who
practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress
Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.
Color me skeptical that this is the real purpose. After all, if this is the real purpose,
then the document is both wildly over-inclusive and wildly under-inclusive. On the
over-inclusive side, it will keep tens of thousands of innocent refugees who have
been subject to unspeakable violence outside of the protection of the United States
on the vanishingly small chance that these people might be terrorists—indeed, to
make it impossible for them even to apply for refugee admission if they are Syrian. It
will prevent untold numbers of people about whom there is no whiff of suspicion
from coming here as students, as professionals, as tourists. It overtly treats members
of a particular religion differently from other people.
On the underinclusive side, the order wouldn’t have blocked the entry of many of the
people responsible for the worst recent terrorist attacks. There is, in fact, simply no
rational relationship between cutting off visits from the particular countries that
Trump targets (Muslim countries that don’t happen to be close U.S. allies) and any
expected counterterrorism goods. The 9/11 hijackers, after all, didn’t come from
Somalia or Syria or Iran; they came from Saudi Arabia and Egypt and a few other
countries not affected by the order. Of the San Bernardino attackers (both of
Pakistani origin, one a U.S. citizen and the other a lawful permanent resident), the
Orlando shooter (a U.S. citizen whose parents were born in Afghanistan), and the
Boston marathon bombers (one a naturalized U.S. citizen, one a green card holder
who arrived in Massachusetts from Kyrgyzstan), none came from countries listed in
the order. One might argue, I suppose, that the document is tied to current threats.
But come now, how could Pakistan not be on a list guided by current threat
What’s more, the document also takes steps that strike me as utterly orthogonal to
any relevant security interest. If the purpose of the order is the one it describes, for
example, I can think of no good reason to burden the lives of students individually
suspected of nothing who are here lawfully and just happen to be temporarily
overseas, or to detain tourists and refugees who were mid-flight when the order
came down. I have trouble imagining any reason to raise questions about whether
green card holders who have lived here for years can leave the country and then
return. Yes, it’s temporary, and that may lessen the costs (or it may not, depending
on the outcome of the policy review the order mandates), but temporarily irrational
is still irrational.
Put simply, I don’t believe that the stated purpose is the real purpose. This is the
first policy the United States has adopted in the post-9/11 era about which I have
ever said this. It’s a grave charge, I know, and I’m not making it lightly. But in the
rational pursuit of security objectives, you don’t marginalize your expert security
agencies and fail to vet your ideas through a normal interagency process. You don’t
target the wrong people in nutty ways when you’re rationally pursuing real security
When do you do these things? You do these things when you’re elevating the
symbolic politics of bashing Islam over any actual security interest. You do them
when you’ve made a deliberate decision to burden human lives to make a public
point. In other words, this is not a document that will cause hardship and misery
because of regrettable incidental impacts on people injured in the pursuit of a public
good. It will cause hardship and misery for tens or hundreds of thousands of people
because that is precisely what it is intended to do.
To be sure, the executive order does not say anything as crass as: “Sec. 14. Burdening
Muslim Lives to Make Political Point.” It doesn’t need to. There’s simply no reason
in reading it to ignore everything Trump said during the campaign, during which he
repeatedly called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States.
Even while he was preparing to sign the order itself, he declared, "This is the
‘Protection of the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.’ We all
know what that means." Indeed, we do. This document is the implementation of a
campaign promise to keep out Muslims moderated only by the fact that certain allied
Muslim countries are left out because the diplomatic repercussions of including
them would be too detrimental.
Many years ago, the great constitutional law scholar Charles Black Jr., contemplating
the separate but equal doctrine, asked:
does segregation offend against equality? Equality, like all general concepts,
has marginal areas where philosophic difficulties are encountered. But if a
whole race of people finds itself confined within a system which is set up and
continued for the very purpose of keeping it in an inferior station, and if the
question is then solemnly propounded whether such a race is being treated
"equally," I think we ought to exercise one of the sovereign prerogatives of
philosophers—that of laughter.
I think we can, without drawing any kind of equivalence between this order and Jim
Crow, make a similar point here: Is this document a reasonable security measure?
There are many areas in which security policy affects innocent lives but within which
we do not presumptively say that the fact that some group of people faces
disproportionate burdens renders that policy illegitimate. But if an entire religious
grouping finds itself irrationally excluded from the country for no discernible
security benefit following a lengthy campaign that overtly promised precisely such
discrimination and exactly this sort of exclusion, if the relevant security agencies are
excluded from the policy process, and if the question is then solemnly propounded
whether the reasonable pursuit of security is the purpose, I think we ought to
exercise one of the sovereign prerogatives of philosophers—that of laughter.
So yes, the order is malevolent. But here’s the thing: Many of these malevolent
objectives were certainly achievable within the president’s lawful authority. The
president’s power over refugee admissions is vast. His power to restrict visa
issuances and entry of aliens to the United States is almost as wide. If the National
Security Council had run a process of minimal competence, it could certainly have
done a lot of stuff that folks like me, who care about refugees, would have gnashed
our teeth over but which would have been solidly within the President’s authority. It
could have all been implemented in a fashion that didn’t create endless litigation
opportunities and didn’t cause enormous diplomatic friction.
How incompetent is this order? An immigration lawyer who works for the federal
government wrote me today describing the quality of the work as “look[ing] like
what an intern came up with over a lunch hour. . . . My take is that it is so poorly
written that it’s hard to tell the impact." One of the reasons there’s so much chaos
going on right now, in fact, is that nobody really knows what the order means on
• Sec. 3(c) bans "entry"—which to the best of my knowledge has had no meaning
in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) since the passage of the Illegal
Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) in 1996. PreIIRIRA law did use the term “entry,” but that is no longer the case.
• Section 3(g) talks of waivers on a case-by-case basis for people who are
otherwise denied visas or other benefits under the immigration laws pursuant
to the order. If a person needs a waiver to obtain "other benefits," does that
mean that nationals of the seven countries are denied any benefit under the
INA without a waiver, benefits such as naturalization, adjustment of status, or
temporary protected status, even if they are already in the US?
• On its face, the order bars entry of both immigrants and non-immigrants.
Again, as entry is not defined, and no one was given any time to draft
implementing guidance or to clarify any points, it’s no surprise that Customs
and Border Protection doesn’t seem to know how to apply it to lawful
permanent residents (LPRs). The INA, at section 101(a)(13)(C), says that green
card holders will not be deemed as seeking admission absent the factors
enumerated therein—factors that do not include an executive order banning
entry. Yet Reuters and The Guardian are both reporting quotations from a DHS
public relations official, stating that the order does apply to LPRs. If that
interpretation lasts, look for DHS to get its ass handed to it on a platter in
federal court—a defeat it will richly deserve.
• Another big mystery is how the order will apply to asylees. Will people even be
allowed to apply? On the one hand, the right to seek asylum is right there in
the INA. But to apply for asylum, you have to be interviewed by a U.S. Citizen
and Immigration Services officer to determine if you have a credible fear of
persecution. Is that interview a benefit under the act? And if so, is it barred?
From what I hear, right now anyway, Customs and Border Protection is not
allowing anyone to claim asylum and have a credible fear interview.
I could go on, but you get the point. This order is a giant birthday present to the
ACLU and other immigration litigators. And godspeed to them in going after
it—which, as I noted above, they are already succeeding in doing.
But the incompetence actually does not stop at running a process that causes legal
chaos and probable manhandling by the federal courts.
Consider, for example, the likely diplomatic fallout. In his first week in office, Trump
has managed to create a major rift with Mexico, our peaceable neighbor to the south
with whom we have no earthly reason to be spatting and haven’t had bilateral
problem this serious since Pancho Villa. Trump’s new order seems certain to raise
tensions with other countries too—and not just the countries whose nationals it
targets (Iran, for example, which today restricted travel by U.S. nationals in
retaliation; a great many U.S. citizens have family in Iran and now can’t visit them).
Because the order applies to dual nationals, where a person is a citizen of one
restricted country and one non-restricted country, it appears to bar entry to
hundreds of thousands of citizens of the U.K. and Canada—including a British
Member of Parliament and a Canadian-Iranian consultant who lives in the United
States but now can no longer safely travel to her business’s headquarters in Toronto
without being blocked from reentry. British Prime Minister Theresa May wasn’t
showing a lot of spine today over the matter, but what happens when she starts
getting political blowback at home for the not standing up to the U.S. over its
treatment of her nationals?
And Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is already making noise. He tweeted
To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will
welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength
12:20 PM - 28 Jan 2017
In some ways, the most stunning incompetence in the document appears in one of
the least discussed sections: The section at the end that mandates reporting on the
nefarious terrorist activities of foreigners in the United States. This section requires
regular reports from DHS on terrorism-related offenses by foreign nationals, and
gender-based violence and honor killings by foreign nationals (because remember,
Mexico sends us their rapists and Muslims all kill their daughters when they date
The White House appears to have included this section because the Trumpists think
it will show that large numbers of foreigners are coming to the United States and
committing acts of terrorism here. But that is delusional, and the data will not show
that—as I suspect someone at DHS would have pointed out had they had the chance.
Here’s Politifact summarizing the extant data on the citizenship status of the authors
of terrorist attacks in the United States:
The New America Foundation, a Washington think tank that promotes datadriven research for social and economic policy, did an analysis of "homegrown
extremism" since 2000. The foundation compiled data on 499 extremists, who
either adhered to jihadist ideology inspired by al-Qaida or were motivated by
right- or left-wing political beliefs. This database includes attacks as well as
those accused of terrorism-related offenses, such as plotting attacks or
New America found that about 64 percent of the extremists were U.S.-born
citizens and 80 percent were either American-born or naturalized citizens.
The database shows eight out of 499 extremists were illegal residents; all
eight were jihadists.
A New York Times analysis cited by many experts we interviewed found that
half of the jihadist attacks since 2001 were committed by men born in the
United States. Many others were naturalized citizens. Some were noncitizens
but were traveling legally, such as Richard Reid, the attempted shoe bomber
in Miami in 2001, who didn’t need a visa because he was from Britain.
Overall, databases of terrorist acts in the United States show that many were
committed by Americans or naturalized citizens, though some high-profile
incidents have involved legal immigrants.
"Empirically, domestic terrorism is carried out by citizens—not
immigrants—with right-wing terrorism, racial hate crimes, and the sovereigncitizen movement making up a majority of domestic terrorist incidents," said
Joel Day, assistant professor of security and global studies at the University of
Massachusetts Lowell. "Other domestic incidents have indeed been carried
out by those who came here through legal channels.’’
In other words, the executive order sets up a reporting mechanism that will almost
certainly falsify its own premise.
I would wax triumphant about the mitigating effect of incompetence on this
document, but alas, I can’t do it. The president’s powers in this area are vast, as I
say, and while the incompetence is likely to buy the administration a world of hurt in
court and in diplomacy in the short term, this order is still going take more than a
few pounds of flesh out of a lot of innocent people.
Moreover, it’s a very dangerous thing to have a White House that can’t with the
remotest pretense of competence and governance put together a major policy
document on a crucial set of national security issues without inducing an avalanche
of litigation and wide diplomatic fallout. If the incompetence mitigates the
malevolence in this case, that’ll be a blessing. But given the nature of the federal
immigration powers, the mitigation may be small and the blessing short-lived; the
implications of having an executive this inept are not small and won’t be shortlived.
Topics: Donald Trump, Omphalos, Refugees
Benjamin Wittes is editor in chief of Lawfare and a Senior Fellow in
Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of
several books and is co-chair of the Hoover Institution's Working Group
on National Security, Technology, and Law.
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Kelly: There are '13 or 14' more
countries with questionable vetting
By Daniella Diaz, CNN
Updated 2:09 AM ET, Tue March 7, 2017
Kelly says more countries have vetting issues 01:08
Washington (CNN) — Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly said that apart from the six countries listed on
Monday's travel ban, there are "13 or 14" other countries that also have questionable vetting procedures.
Trump signed a new executive order that bans
immigration from six Muslim-majority countries
Kelly didn't name any of the additional countries the administration is concerned about and acknowledged he doesn't
expect the list of countries subject to the travel ban will grow.
Kelly says the ban is not a Muslim ban
"There will probably be other countries we will look at," he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room." "I don't
believe the list will be expanded, but there are countries out there that we will ask, like Iraq has done ... to cooperate with
us better, to get us the information we need to safeguard the country."
Revised US travel ban
Trump signs new travel ban
How this ban is different
Muslims in Congress blast new order
Will this impact the court cases?
Travel ban: Read the full executive order
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This time around, ban offers wiggle
He continued: "There's a number of them out there, I don't want to speculate. There's probably 13 or 14 countries, not
all of them Muslim countries, not all of them in the Middle East, that have questionable vetting procedures we can rely
on. And if we overlay additional vetting procedures, the chances are these countries will be minimum citizens from
those countries that visit our country."
President Donald Trump on Monday signed a new executive order that bans immigration from six Muslim-majority
countries, dropping Iraq from January's previous order and reinstates a temporary blanket ban on all refugees. Iraq was
removed from a revised version of an executive order banning travel from certain Muslim-majority countries after
intensive lobbying from the Iraqi government at the highest levels, a senior US official told CNN Monday.
President Donald Trump signs new travel ban, exempts Iraq
The new measures will block citizens of Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from obtaining visas for at least
The new ban, which will be implemented March 16, comes six weeks after Trump's original executive order caused
chaos at airports nationwide before it was blocked by federal courts.
The ban removes language in the original order that indefinitely banned Syrian refugees and called for prioritizing the
admission of refugees who are religious minorities in their home countries.
Kelly told Blitzer that the ban is not a "Muslim ban," which is what it's being called by critics of the executive order.
"Three of the six (countries in the travel ban) now are designated as terrorism supporters," Kelly said. "We can't rely on
those governments ... It's not a Muslim ban ... there are 51 overwhelmingly Muslim countries."
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ban, Iraq is exempt 03:12
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Trump vs. Obama: A rocky relationship
F.B.I. Casts Wide Net Under Relaxed
Rules for Terror Inquiries, Data Show
By CHARLIE SAVAGE MARCH 26, 2011
WASHINGTON — Within months after the Bush administration relaxed limits on
domestic-intelligence gathering in late 2008, the F.B.I. assessed thousands of people
and groups in search of evidence that they might be criminals or terrorists, a newly
disclosed Justice Department document shows.
In a vast majority of those cases, F.B.I. agents did not find suspicious
information that could justify more intensive investigations. The New York Times
obtained the data, which the F.B.I. had tried to keep secret, after filing a lawsuit
under the Freedom of Information Act.
The document, which covers the four months from December 2008 to March
2009, says the F.B.I. initiated 11,667 “assessments” of people and groups. Of those,
8,605 were completed. And based on the information developed in those low-level
inquiries, agents opened 427 more intensive investigations, it says.
The statistics shed new light on the F.B.I.’s activities in the post-Sept. 11 era, as
the bureau’s focus has shifted from investigating crimes to trying to detect and
disrupt potential criminal and terrorist activity.
It is not clear, though, whether any charges resulted from the inquiries. And because
the F.B.I. provided no comparable figures for a period before the rules change, it is
impossible to determine whether the numbers represent an increase in
Still, privacy advocates contend that the large number of assessments that
turned up no sign of wrongdoing show that the rules adopted by the Bush
administration have created too low a threshold for starting an inquiry. Attorney
General Eric H. Holder Jr. has left those rules in place.
Michael German, a former F.B.I. agent who is now a policy counsel for the
American Civil Liberties Union, argued that the volume of fruitless assessments
showed that the Obama administration should tighten the rules.
“These are investigations against completely innocent people that are now
bound up within the F.B.I.’s intelligence system forever,” Mr. German said. “Is that
the best way for the F.B.I. to use its resources?”
But Valerie E. Caproni, the bureau’s general counsel, said the numbers showed
that agents were running down any hint of a potential problem — including
vigilantly checking out potential leads that might have been ignored before the Sept.
“Recognize that the F.B.I.’s policy — that I think the American people would
support — is that any terrorism lead has to be followed up,” Ms. Caproni said. “That
means, on a practical level, that things that 10 years ago might just have been
ignored now have to be followed up.”
F.B.I. investigations are controlled by guidelines first put in place by Attorney
General Edward H. Levi during the Ford administration, after the disclosure that the
bureau had engaged in illegal domestic spying for decades. After the Sept. 11 attacks,
those rules were loosened by Attorney General John Ashcroft and then again by
Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey.
Some Democrats and civil liberties groups protested the Mukasey guidelines,
contending that the new rules could open the door to racial or religious profiling and
to fishing expeditions against Americans.
In 2006, The New York Times reported that the National Security Agency had
each month been flooding the bureau with thousands of names, phone numbers and
e-mail addresses that its surveillance and data-mining programs had deemed
suspicious. But frustrated agents found that virtually all of the tips led to dead ends
or innocent Americans.
When the Mukasey guidelines went into effect in December 2008, they allowed
the F.B.I. to use a new category of investigation called an “assessment.” It permits an
agent, “proactively or based on investigative leads,” to scrutinize a person or a group
for signs of a criminal or national security threat, according to the F.B.I. manual.
The manual also says agents need “no particular factual predication” about a
target to open an assessment, although the basis “cannot be arbitrary or groundless
speculation.” And in selecting subjects for such scrutiny, agents are allowed to use
ethnicity, religion or speech protected by the First Amendment as a factor — as long
as it is not the only one.
An assessment is less intensive than a more traditional “preliminary” inquiry or
a “full” investigation, which requires greater reason to suspect wrongdoing but also
allows agents to use more intrusive information-gathering techniques, like
Still, in conducting an assessment, agents are allowed to use other techniques —
searching databases, interviewing the subjects or people who know them, sending
confidential informers to infiltrate an organization, attending a public meeting like a
political rally or a religious service, and following and photographing people in
In March 2009, Russ Feingold, then a Democratic senator from Wisconsin,
asked the F.B.I. how many assessments it had initiated under the new guidelines and
how many regular investigations had been opened based on information developed
by those assessments.
In November 2010, the Justice Department sent a classified letter to the Senate
Judiciary Committee answering Mr. Feingold’s question. This month, it provided an
uncensored copy of the same answer to The Times as a result of its Freedom of
Information Act lawsuit.
F.B.I. officials said in an interview that the statistics represented a snapshot as
of late March 2009, so the 11,667 assessment files were generated over a roughly
four-month period. But they said they believed that agents had continued to open
assessments at roughly the same pace since then.
Some aspects of the statistics are hazy, officials cautioned.
For example, even before the December 2008 changes, the bureau routinely
followed up on low-grade tips and leads under different rules. But that activity was
not formally tracked as an “assessment” that could be easily counted and compared.
F.B.I. officials also said about 30 percent of the 11,667 assessments were just
vague tips — like a report of a suspicious car that included no license plate number.
Such tips are entered into its computer system even if there is no way to follow up on
Finally, they said, it is impossible to know precisely how many assessments
turned up suspicious facts. A single assessment may have spun off more than one
higher investigation, and some agents may have neglected to record when such an
investigation started as an assessment.
Ms. Caproni also said that even though the F.B.I. manual says agents can open
assessments “proactively,” they still must always have a valid reason — like a tip that
is not solid enough to justify a more intensive level of investigation but should still
be checked out.
But Mr. German, of the A.C.L.U., said that allowing agents to initiate
investigations without a factual basis “seems ripe for abuse.” He added, “What they
should be doing is working within stricter guidelines that help them focus on real
threats rather than spending time chasing shadows.”
A version of this article appears in print on March 27, 2011, on Page A19 of the New York edition with the
headline: F.B.I. Casts Wide Net Under Relaxed Rules for Terror Inquiries, Data Show.
© 2017 The New York Times Company
People From 7 Travel-Ban Nations Pose
No Increased Terror Risk, Report Says
By RON NIXON
FEB. 25, 2017
When President Trump signed an executive order last month temporarily barring
visitors from seven mostly Muslim countries, he said he was moving to protect the
United States from terrorist attacks. The Homeland Security secretary, John F. Kelly,
echoed the president, saying the travel ban was necessary because vetting
procedures “in those seven countries are suspect.”
But an internal report written by intelligence analysts at Mr. Kelly’s department
appears to undercut the assessment that people from the seven countries — Iran,
Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — pose a heightened threat of
terrorism. The three-page report found that “country of citizenship is unlikely to be a
reliable indicator of potential terrorist activity.”
The report adds to the difficulties the Trump administration has faced in
carrying out the travel ban. Federal judges have suspended the order, and the
administration has said it will redo it to withstand legal scrutiny, but has not given a
The Department of Homeland Security assessment, first reported by The
Associated Press, found that only a small number of people from the seven countries
had been involved in terrorism-related activities in the United States since the Syrian
civil war began in 2011. In addition, the report noted, while terrorist groups in Iraq,
Syria and Yemen pose a threat to the United States, militant groups in the other four
countries have a more regional focus.
The report also found that in the past six years, the terrorism threat reached
much more widely than the seven countries listed — individuals from 26 countries
had been “inspired” to carry out attacks in the United States.
Furthermore, few individuals from the seven countries affected by the ban have
access to the United States, the report said, noting the small numbers of visas
granted by the State Department to citizens of those nations.
The White House and the Department of Homeland Security sought to play
down the significance of the report. The White House said that it was politically
motivated and disregarded information that would have provided support for the
travel ban. The Department of Homeland Security said the report was just a draft
and “not a final comprehensive review of the government’s intelligence.”
Stephen Miller, a senior aide to Mr. Trump, told Fox News on Tuesday that the
redrawn executive order would “have the same basic policy outcome.”
The Trump administration on Friday also took the first steps toward following
through on the president’s plan to build a wall along the border with Mexico.
Customs and Border Protection, an agency within the Department of Homeland
Security, announced that it would begin accepting design proposals for a wall. The
agency said it would need the proposals by March 10. After it chooses a list of
potential vendors, full proposals would be required a few weeks later.
The agency said it could make a final decision by the middle of April.
A version of this article appears in print on February 26, 2017, on Page A20 of the New York edition with
the headline: Homeland Security Report Undercuts Travel-Ban Logic.
© 2017 The New York Times Company
The Rachel Maddow Show / The MaddowBlog
Exclusive: DHS intel doc contradicts case for Trump's travel ban, 3/2/17, 9:02 PM ET
TRMS Exclusive: DHS document undermines Trump
case for travel ban
03 /0 2/ 17 0 9 :15 PM—UPDA T ED 0 3/0 3/1 7 1 2:14 AM
The Rachel Maddow Show has obtained, exclusively, a Department of Homeland Security
intelligence assessment document. The document, from the Office of Intelligence and
Analysis, makes the case that most foreign-born, U.S.-based violent extremists are likely not
radicalized when they come to the U.S., but rather become radicalized after living in the U.S.
for a number of years.
The document follows another piece of research (pdf) from Homeland Security that
undercut President Trump’s rationale for a travel ban as a means of keeping violent
extremists out. On Friday, the Associated Press published an analysis from Homeland
Security that said citizenship in any given country – including the seven countries listed in
the executive order – is likely an unreliable indicator of whether someone poses a terrorist
The new assessment, obtained by the Rachel Maddow Show and dated March 1, tracks 88
violent, foreign-born extremists in the United States. More than half of them had been in the
U.S. more than 10 years before they were indicted or killed.
Homeland Security tonight has confirmed the authenticity of the document. The
department says production of it began in August 2016, and that it likely would have
reached the White House. We have asked the White House for comment tonight. They have
Read the document below:
(Scribd pdf link here)
Explore: The MaddowBlog
Thursday's Mini-Report, 3.2.17
Team Trump's Russian communications come...
Justice Dept. lawyer says 100,000 visas revoked under travel..., 2017 WLNR 3564726
2/3/17 WashingtonPost.com (Pg. Unavail. Online)
2017 WLNR 3564726
Copyright (c) 2017 The Washington Post
February 3, 2017
Justice Dept. lawyer says 100,000 visas revoked under travel ban; State Dept. says about 60,000
The revelation, disputed by another agency, came in a court case
involving Yemeni brothers turned away from Dulles Airport in Virginia.
Justin Jouvenal;Rachel Weiner;Ann E. Marimow
More than 100,000 visas have been revoked as a result of President Trump's ban on travel from seven predominantly
Muslim countries, an attorney for the government asserted Friday in federal court in Alexandria, Va.
The number came out during a hearing in a lawsuit by two Yemeni brothers who arrived at Dulles International Airport
last Saturday and were quickly put on a return flight to Ethiopia because of the new restrictions. While the government
is working to resolve that case and return the brothers to the United States, lawyers at the hearing addressed the broader
impact of the ban.
The 100,000 figure was immediately disputed by the State Department, which said the number of visas revoked was
roughly 60,000. A spokeswoman said the revocations have no impact on the legal status of people already in the United
States. If those people leave the United States, though, their visas will no longer be valid.
Immigrant advocates, attorneys and the media have been pushing the Trump administration to offer an accounting of
how many people were affected by the controversial executive order.
In response to a question from a judge, Erez Reuveni, of the Justice Department's Office of Immigration Litigation, told
the U.S. District Court that there were tens of thousands abroad holding visas when Trump signed his order a week ago.
"Over 100,000 visas were revoked on Friday at 6:30 p.m.," Reuveni told the court, speaking of Jan. 27.
Reuveni offered no other details about the group of people. He said that he did not know how many people had been
detained at the nation's airports because of the order but that it could be 100 to 200. It was not immediately clear how
the Justice Department and State Department arrived at such different tallies for the broader number of people affected.
"The number 100,000 sucked the air out of my lungs," said Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg of the Legal Aid Justice Center,
who represents the Yemeni brothers.
© 2017 Thomson Reuters. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.
Justice Dept. lawyer says 100,000 visas revoked under travel..., 2017 WLNR 3564726
During the hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Leonie M. Brinkema said she was heartened to see that the government
was working to return the brothers, Tareq and Ammar Aqel Mohammed Aziz, to the United States and reinstate their
visas in exchange for dropping their case. The government appears to be attempting similar case-by-case reprieves across
But Brinkema offered a stern rebuke to the Trump administration in its overall handling of the travel ban. Brinkema
said the case had drawn an even larger public outpouring than another high profile one she handled: the trial of 9/11
conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui.
"This order was issued quite quickly. It's quite clear that not all the thought went into it that should have gone into it,"
Brinkema said. "It was chaos."
She said people had relied on their visas as valid and families had expected to be reunited with loved ones. Brinkema
said there was no evidence that the travel restrictions were necessary.
She urged the government to work "globally" to resolve all the cases of those affected by the travel ban. Lawsuits have
been playing out over individual cases in at least 10 courts across the country.
The Trump administration has argued that the travel ban is necessary to keep Americans safe from terrorism as
it institutes more restrictive vetting of visitors and refugees, but it has drawn protests at airport's nationwide and
condemnation from Democrats, many of whom call the executive action a "Muslim ban."
Brinkema on Friday extended a temporary restraining order she had issued blocking the removal of any green-card
holders being detained at Dulles and requiring that people held there because of the ban have access to lawyers.
The judge also allowed the state of Virginia to join the lawsuit. State officials argued in court that more than 350 students
from a handful of state universities had been affected by the travel ban, along with professors and other workers.
The officials said they include a Libyan woman from George Mason University who was stuck in Turkey and an Iranian
doctoral student who is unable to travel to the United States to defend his dissertation. In addition, Brinkema ordered
the government to turn over a list of the state's lawful permanent residents and visa holders who were affected by the ban.
Outside the courthouse, Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D) said he was "really pleased the judge recognized
real harm is happening in Virginia."
Herring's office had also been seeking to hold government officials in contempt for the way they handled travelers from
the seven countries over the weekend, but Brinkema declined, saying she did not know enough Friday to make that
Virginia officials had cited news reports and affidavits from lawmakers saying that, contrary to the order Brinkema
issued last weekend, Customs and Border Patrol officers had denied immigrants access to lawyers.
"There were so many lawyers there willing to help, and not a single one got access," Virginia Solicitor General Stuart
A. Raphael said during the hearing.
Reuveni said that security at Dulles bars lawyers from anything but telephone access to people who are in screening.
Separately, affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union in all 50 states have filed freedom-of-information requests
to gain a greater understanding of how customs officials are implementing Trump's order.
© 2017 Thomson Reuters. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.
Justice Dept. lawyer says 100,000 visas revoked under travel..., 2017 WLNR 3564726
Brinkema also allowed a Sudanese woman to join the lawsuit. Sahar Kamal Ahmed Fadul was traveling on the same
flight as the Aziz brothers and was sent on a return flight to Ethiopia by customs officials. She had plans to meet her
fiance in Colorado and get married.
"Too suddenly, at the stroke of a pen, that dream was dashed," said her attorney, Timothy Heaphy. "It's tremendously
---- Index References ---News Subject: (Government Litigation (1GO18); Immigration & Naturalization (1IM88); Judicial Cases & Rulings
(1JU36); Legal (1LE33); Social Issues (1SO05))
Industry: (Air Transportation (1AI53); Airports (1AI61); Transportation (1TR48))
Region: (Americas (1AM92); Arab States (1AR46); Middle East (1MI23); North America (1NO39); Yemen (1YE36))
Other Indexing: (Virginia Attorney General Mark R.) (Virginia Solicitor; Tareq Aqel Mohammed Aziz; Trump; Stuart
Raphael; Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg; Ammar Aqel Mohammed Aziz; Leonie Brinkema; Timothy Heaphy; Sahar
Kamal Ahmed Fadul; Erez Reuveni; Zacarias Moussaoui)
Word Count: 954
End of Document
© 2017 Thomson Reuters. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.
© 2017 Thomson Reuters. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.
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FIELD LISTING :: RELIGIONS
Muslim 99.7% (Sunni 84.7 - 89.7%, Shia 10 - 15%), other 0.3% (2009 est.)
Albania (../geos/al.html) Muslim 56.7%, Roman Catholic 10%, Orthodox 6.8%, atheist 2.5%, Bektashi (a
Sufi order) 2.1%, other 5.7%, unspecified 16.2%
note: all mosques and churches were closed in 1967 and religious observances
prohibited; in November 1990, Albania began allowing private religious practice
Algeria (../geos/ag.html) Muslim (official; predominantly Sunni) 99%, other (includes Christian and
Jewish) <1% (2012 est.)
Christian 98.3%, other 1%, unaffiliated 0.7% (2010 est.)
Roman Catholic (predominant)
Angola (../geos/ao.html) Roman Catholic 41.1%, Protestant 38.1%, other 8.6%, none 12.3% (2014 est.)
Protestant 73.2% (includes Anglican 22.7%, Methodist 19.4%, Pentecostal
10.5%, Seventh Day Adventist 8.3%, Baptist 7.1%, Church of God 4.9%,
Presbytarian 0.2%, Brethren 0.1%), Roman Catholic 6.8%, Jehovah's Witness
1.1%, other Christian 10.9%, other 3.2%, unspecified 0.3%, none 4.5% (2011
Antigua and Barbuda
Protestant 68.3% (Anglican 17.6%, Seventh Day Adventist 12.4%, Pentecostal
12.2%, Moravian 8.3%, Methodist 5.6%, Wesleyan Holiness 4.5%, Church of
God 4.1%, Baptist 3.6%), Roman Catholic 8.2%, other 12.2%, unspecified 5.5%,
none 5.9% (2011 est.)
nominally Roman Catholic 92% (less than 20% practicing), Protestant 2%,
Jewish 2%, other 4%
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