During a press conference with the Nigerian president, President Donald Trump said there was no reason to apologize for his comments on Muslims traveling to the United States. USA TODAY
WASHINGTONÂ â€” President Trump said he won’t apologize for his harsh rhetoric on Muslims traveling to the United States, saying an apology wouldn’t make any difference in helping to save his travel ban executive order in the Supreme Court.
“There’s no reason to apologize,” Trump said Monday in a Rose Garden press conference. “I think if I apologized, it wouldnâ€™t make 10 cents worth of difference to them.”
Last week, the state of Hawaii argued in the Supreme Court that Trump hasn’t disavowed his anti-Muslim statementsÂ â€” and so those discriminatory remarks continue to color his proclamation barring visitors from certain predominately Muslim countries.
“I think the President could have disclaimed â€” you know, easily moved away from all of these statements,” said attorney Neal Katyal, who was urging the Supreme Court to strike down the travel ban. “But instead they embraced them. That’s the difference.”
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump argued for a complete moratorium on Muslims entering the country. But government lawyers said Trump was a private citizen then, and that the travel ban is aimed only at countries at risk of sending terrorists. Trump signed three versions of the travel ban last year in an attempt to shore up the legality of the order in the courts.
In a press conference with the Nigerian president Monday, Trump linked the travel ban to his call for a wall along the Mexican border â€” even if some will be able to scale it.
“A small percentage can climb to the top, but they have to be in pretty good shape,” he said.
The caravan of asylum seekers approaching the U.S. border from Central America has dwindled from about 1,000 to about 100, Trump said.
“People donâ€™t realize how big of a country Mexico is,” he said.
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