Addressing a law enforcement conference in Washington on Wednesday morning, Trump kicked off his remarks by reading out loud the Immigration and Nationality Act, the law that gives the president authority to stop the flow of classes of aliens entering the U.S.
The Trump administration has used that law as its legal standing for a controversial order banning all immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations, a policy that created mass chaos at America’s airports and drew criticism even from some Republicans.
Reading from U.S. law, he declared that even a “bad high-school student” would side with him in his legal battle to keep citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S.
“It’s sad, 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 as citizens of this country. This was done, very importantly, for security. It was done for the security of our nation, for the security of our citizens, so people don’t come in who are going to do us harm. That is why is was done. It couldn’t have been written more precisely.”
Trump added that the order was “written beautifully.”
“You could be a lawyer, or you don’t have to be a lawyer. If you were a good student in high school or a bad student in high school, you can understand this, and it’s really incredible to me that we have a court case that’s going on so long. I was a good student. I understand things. I comprehend very well, OK? 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. It was disgraceful because what I just read to you is what we have. And it just can’t be written any plainer or better and for us to be going through this.”
Trump told the audience that he did not intend to comment on the statements made by the three-judge panel that had skeptically grilled the Justice Department’s attorney a day earlier, but then he appeared to do just that, telling the audience that “if these judges wanted to, in my opinion, help the court in terms of respect for the court, they’d do what they should be doing. I mean, it’s so sad.”
“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!” Donald Trump 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2017
“I watched last night in amazement. And I heard things that I couldn’t believe,” Trump said of the hearing, which took place in San Francisco and began at 6 p.m. on the East Coast. “I don’t ever want to call a court biased, so I won’t call it biased, and we haven’t had a decision yet. But courts seem to be so political, and it would be so great for our justice system if they would be able to read a statement and do what’s right.”