Donald Trump vows to impose travel ban 'in any event' despite pending Supreme Court judgement

The President’s flurry of tweets began sometime after 6am

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The Independent US

Donald Trump has used social media to launch a fresh defence of his Muslim travel ban – attacking his Justice Department for seeking the Supreme Court’s backing for a “watered down, politically correct version of the measure and insisting it was a travel ban.

“People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!” he said on Twitter, in a posting at 6am.

He added: “In any event we are EXTREME VETTING people coming into the US in order to help keep our country safe. The courts are slow and political!”

In the aftermath of the attack in London that left seven people dead, along with three assailants, Mr Trump was criticised for seeking to quickly use it to promote his views on immigration. He also attacked London Mayor Sadiq Khan of soft-peddling on the attackers, despite Mr Khan declaring that the assault was a “deliberate and cowardly attack on innocent Londoners”.

“We will never let these cowards win, and we will never be cowed by terrorism,” he added.

In a flurry of tweets – which the media is now increasingly recognising as White House statements delivered by the President on Twitter – he urged the Justice Department to ask for an “expedited hearing” at the high court and seek a “much tougher version” of the order temporarily blocking entry to the US from a half-dozen majority Muslim countries. 

Trump: We will do everything to help the UK

He called the courts, which have blocked two versions of the travel ban, “slow and political”. 

Last week, the Justice Department formally asked the Supreme Court to let a ban on visitors from six mostly Muslim countries and refugees from around the world to be put in place. The high court also is being asked to uphold the constitutionality of the Trump travel policy, which lower courts have blocked because it shows anti-Muslim prejudice.

According to the Associated Press, that directive that would go before the Supreme Court is a narrower version of the executive order the president signed during his first week in office. 

The second order removed Iraq from the list of banned countries. An indefinite halt to entry from Syrian refugees was replaced by a temporary pause. 

Mr Trump’s criticism came a day after he said he would do whatever is necessary to protect the United States from a “vile enemy” that he said has waged war on innocents for too long. “This bloodshed must end, this bloodshed will end,” he said.

Mr Trump was commenting on Sunday evening at the conclusion of a fundraiser for Ford’s Theatre, scene of one of the most famous acts of bloodshed in American history: the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. 

“America sends our thoughts and prayers and our deepest sympathies to the victims of this evil slaughter and we renew our resolve, stronger than ever before, to protect the United States and its allies from a vile enemy that has waged war on innocent life, and it’s gone on too long,” he said.

“As president, I will do what is necessary to prevent this threat from spreading to our shores and work every single day to protect the safety and security of our country, our communities and our people.”

Mr Trump said he had spoken with British Prime Minister Theresa May to express America’s “unwavering support” and offer US assistance as the British government works to protect its citizens and bring the guilty to justice. 

After more than 20 people were killed in a bomb attack last month at a concert in Manchester, England, Mr Trump condemned the assault as the act of “evil losers” and called on nations to band together to fight terrorism. 

Earlier on Sunday, Mr Trump had criticised London’s mayor after Mr Khan sought to reassure residents about a stepped-up police presence following the attack, the third in the country in past three months. Mr Trump argued in a Twitter post for leaders to “stop being politically correct”.

The mayor’s spokesman said he was too busy to respond to Trump’s “ill-informed” tweet.