President Trump said Monday he won’t apologize for his past comments about Muslims and suggestions of a Muslim ban, saying he doubts it would make a difference to the courts that are deciding the legality of his travel ban policy.
“I think if I apologize it wouldn’t make 10 cents worth of difference. There’s nothing to apologize for,” Mr. Trump told The Washington Times at a press conference at the White House with the Nigerian president.
The travel ban went before the Supreme Court for oral argument last week, and the lawyer for Mr. Trump’s opponents, former top Obama administration litigator Neal Katyal, said if Mr. Trump would recant his previous statements the case against him could disappear.
During the 2016 campaign Mr. Trump proposed a temporary ban on Muslim entry to the U.S. as the crux of an “extreme vetting” policy.
When he took office, he imposed a ban on entry for citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries previously identified by Congress and the Obama administration as having terrorism connections. That initial policy was blocked by the courts.
A second version applying to six majority-Muslim countries was allowed to go into partial effect by the Supreme Court.
Mr. Trump has now released a third version that applies to an updated list of both majority-Muslim and non-Muslim countries, with differing levels of sanctions.
With the case pending before the Supreme Court, Mr. Katyal said all of Mr. Trump’s policies are tainted by anti-Muslim “animus” the president displayed during the campaign.
Muslim Advocates, a group that has vehemently opposed Mr. Trump, said by refusing to apologize for his past statements Mr. Trump has proved he’s still motivated by animus.
“If there was ever any doubt about whether President Trump continues to endorse the anti-Muslim rhetoric he promoted on the campaign trail, his statement today serves to definitively dispel it,” said Farhana Khera, the group’s executive director. “In fact, those anti-Muslim statements and campaign promises led directly to the Muslim ban.”
The group blamed Mr. Trump for “an unprecedented spike in hate violence against Muslims and mosque attacks.”
© Copyright (c) 2018 News World Communications, Inc.
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.