05:43 GMT +323 September 2019
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    US President-elect Donald Trump and his campaign manager Kellyanne Conway greet supporters during his election night rally in Manhattan, New York, US, November 9, 2016

    Conway: Inconvenience for 1% of Travelers 'Small Price to Pay' for Security

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    Trump’s senior counselor Kellyanne Conway said on Sunday while commenting on the president’s executive order barring immigration from select Muslim-majority countries that the chaos it caused was “a small price to pay” for the safety of Americans.

    Conway defended the ban in an interview with Fox News saying that it shouldn't be regarded as an administration failure even though it triggered mayhem at many airports, including the detention of travelers with legitimate papers. The adviser pointed out that the number of those detained at US airports was relatively small.

    Trump's advisor said, "325,000 people from overseas came into this country just yesterday through our airports. You're talking about 300 and some who have been detained or are prevented from gaining access to an aircraft in their home countries and must stay for now."

    Conway emphasized that that is only 1 percent of those who arrived, and that this sacrifice is incomparable with the grief of the children whose parents were killed in the 9/11 attacks. (Most of the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks were from Saudi Arabia, a country not among the seven whose nationals are currently banned.)

    "I think in terms of the upside being greater protection of our borders, of our people, it's a small price to pay."

    The top White House aide added that calling President Donald Trump's executive order a "Muslim ban" was wrong, as there are 46 other majority Muslim countries not included.

    As for those detained upon arrival, she explained that their situations will be handled on a case-by-case basis via a routine screening process and if there is no threat, then they can expect to be released in due course.

    Timo Soini
    © REUTERS / LEHTIKUVA/Antti Aimo-Koivisto
    White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus also defended the way the order was being implemented, saying without sudden implementation, people intending to harm Americans would be able to move up their travel in order to get into the country before the "grace period" was over

    Trump on Friday signed an executive order temporarily suspending immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Libya and Yemen. The order also suspends the flow of Syrian refugees into the country and halts all refugee resettlement in the US for 120 days as the administration reviews the vetting process.

    On Saturday, a federal judge in New York issued an emergency stay on implementation of Trump's order. In a tweet published several hours later, the US president signaled that he will fight to keep the order in place.

    "Our country needs strong borders and extreme vetting, NOW," Trump said in the tweet. "Look what is happening all over Europe and, indeed, the world — a horrible mess!"    

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    Muslims, ban, Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump, United States
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