Asked about the controversial executive orders banning many Muslims from entering the United States signed yesterday, Trump seemed sanguine.
"It's not a Muslim ban," the president began, before going on to say "we were totally prepared, it's working out very nicely, you see at the airports, you see it all over… 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 remarks came during a photo opportunity in the Oval Office January 28.
The new executive orders suspend the United States' program to accept Syrian refugees and puts a 90 day ban on admitting nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, even those who have valid US visas or who already live in the United States as legal aliens with green cards. Christians and members of minority religious groups in those countries are to be given priority consideration for entrance, a stipulation leading many to call the orders, indeed, a "Muslim ban."
The restrictions potentially cover more than 130 million citizens of those countries.
"We don't want them here," Trump said as he signed the orders January 27.
"We want to ensure that we are not admitting into our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas. We only want to admit those into our country who will support our country and love deeply our people."
Meanwhile, thousands of people are protesting at airports across the US, New York City's taxi drivers have staged a strike in solidarity, Iran is considering retaliatory measures and the ACLU has filed a lawsuit on behalf of two detained refugees that names Trump personally as well as the US Department of Homeland Security and US Customs and Border Protection.