Trump wanted ban ‘done legally’

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - U.S. REFUGEE BAN - AMY WANG

WASH­ING­TON • For­mer New York mayor Ru­dolph Gi­u­liani said Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump wanted a “Mus­lim ban” and re­quested he assem­ble a com­mis­sion to show him “the right way to do it legally.”

Gi­u­liani, an early Trump sup­porter once ru­moured for a cabi­net po­si­tion, ap­peared on Fox News to de­scribe how Trump’s ex­ec­u­tive or­der tem­po­rar­ily ban­ning refugees came to­gether.

Trump on Fri­day signed or­ders not only to sus­pend ad­mis­sion of all refugees into the United States for 120 days but also to im­ple­ment “new vet­ting mea­sures” to screen out “rad­i­cal Is­lamic ter­ror­ists.” Refugee en­try from Syria, how­ever, would be sus­pended in­def­i­nitely, and all travel from Syria and six other na­tions — Iran, Iraq, Libya, So­ma­lia, Su­dan and Ye­men — are sus­pended for 90 days.

Trump also said he would give pri­or­ity to Chris­tian refugees over those of other re­li­gions, ac­cord­ing to the Chris­tian Broad­cast­ing Net­work.

“How did the pres­i­dent de­cide the seven coun­tries?” Fox News host Jea­nine Pirro asked.

“I’ll tell you the whole his­tory of it,” Gi­u­liani re­sponded ea­gerly. “So when (Trump) first an­nounced it, he said, ‘Mus­lim ban.’ He called me up. He said, ‘Put a com­mis­sion to­gether. Show me the right way to do it legally.’ ”

Gi­u­liani con­tin­ued, say­ing he as­sem­bled a “whole group of other very ex­pert lawyers on this,” in­clud­ing for­mer U.S. At­tor­ney Gen­eral Michael Mukasey, Rep. Mike McCaul of Texas, and Rep. Peter King of New York.

“And what we did was, we fo­cused on, in­stead of re­li­gion, danger — the ar­eas of the world that cre­ate danger for us,” Gi­u­liani told Pirro. “Which is a fac­tual ba­sis, not a re­li­gious ba­sis. Per­fectly le­gal, per­fectly sen­si­ble. And that’s what the ban is based on. It’s not based on re­li­gion. It’s based on places where there are sub­stan­tial ev­i­dence that peo­ple are send­ing ter­ror­ists into our coun­try.”

Clips of the ex­change be­tween Gi­u­liani and Pirro quickly went vi­ral Satur­day night, with some claim­ing that Gi­u­liani’s state­ment amounted to ad­mit­ting Trump’s in­tent had been to in­sti­tute a ban based on re­li­gion.

Oth­ers, in­clud­ing Trump se­nior ad­viser Kellyanne Con­way and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, have in­sisted it is not a ban on Mus­lims, but rather one based on coun­tries from which travel was al­ready re­stricted un­der the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The week­end firestorm fac­ing the ad­min­is­tra­tion over re­li­gion was not lim­ited to Mus­lims.

In a state­ment on Fri­day, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump broke with the bi­par­ti­san prac­tice of past pres­i­dents by fail­ing to in­clude any men­tion of the anti-Semitic views that fuelled the Holo­caust and left six mil­lion Jews and mil­lions of oth­ers dead.

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