WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — President Donald Trump asserted Wednesday that he had the right to enact his travel ban, saying it was “done for the security of our nation.”
Speaking to the Washington, D.C. conference of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, which represents sheriffs and heads of large police forces around the country, the president said the order was written “beautifully” and was within his executive authority.
“A bad high school student would understand this,” he said of the ban. “It’s as plain as you can have it and I was a good student. I understand things, I comprehend very well, okay? Better than, I think almost anybody.”
“And I want to tell you, I listened to a bunch of stuff last night on television that was disgraceful,” he added.
CBS News’ Margaret Brennan confirmed Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court seat left vacant by Antonin Scalia’s death, Neil Gorush, met with the Supreme Court nomination team Wednesday, including Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut.
A source on the team said Gorsuch called the president’s commentary “disheartening and abhorrent.”
Trump said one of the reasons he was elected president was “because of law and order and security.”
“I think it’s a sad day. I think our security is at risk today and it will be at risk until such time as we are entitled and get what we are entitled to,” he said.
Trump also read parts of his order aloud, saying it allows the chief executive the ability to suspend the “entry of all aliens or of any class of aliens” into the country, CBS News reported.
“You can suspend, you can put restrictions, you can do whatever you want,” he said. “You’re the chiefs, you’re the sheriffs, you understand this.”
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is weighing the appeal of Trump’s executive order on immigration, including a temporary travel ban on those from seven Muslim-majority countries.
The appeals court challenged the administration’s claim that the ban was motivated by terrorism fears, but it also questioned an attorney’s argument that it unconstitutionally targeted Muslims.
While awaiting a decision, Trump said “courts seem to be so political.”
“They are interpreting things differently than probably 100 percent of people in this room,” he said. “I never want to call a court biased, so I won’t call it biased.”
Trump added “it would be so great for our justice system if they would be able to read a statement and do what’s right.”
Earlier Wednesday morning, the president tweeted: “If the U.S. does not win this case as it so obviously should, we can never have the security and safety to which we are entitled. Politics!”
On Capitol Hill, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, was confirmed as the next attorney general by a vote of 52-47.
Also Wednesday, the president stood up for his daughter, Ivanka, whose clothing line was discontinued by a department store.
Nordstrom said the line was discontinued based on “brand performance.”
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