The latest U.K. terror attack, with the British prime minister decrying “too much tolerance of extremism in our country,” opens a small window for President Trump to build support for his travel moratorium from six mostly Muslim nations as the proposal heads for the Supreme Court.
“If he doesn’t strike when the iron’s hot, then nothing is going to wind up happening,” GOP strategist Ford O’Connell said.
“He’s getting some criticism for it, but he’s right to bring it up, because if he doesn’t, we’re just going to stick our heads in the sand.”
Trump brought his revised travel order, issued in March, to the fore Saturday night, tweeting as news of the U.K. attack unfolded that the U.S. needs to be “smart, vigilant and tough,” and that “We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!”
In a tweet yesterday, Trump added, “We must stop being politically correct and get down to the business of security for our people. If we don’t get smart it will only get worse.”
The administration argues the revised order, issued after an initial January order was struck down by the courts, falls within the president’s powers to enact immigration policy.
The government will urge the Supreme Court to strictly consider the order’s language, which would halt entry from six Muslim-majority countries identified as breeding places of terrorism and suspend the entry of Syrian refugees for 90 days, but would exempt those with valid U.S. visas.
In a 10-3 ruling two weeks ago, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, claiming religious discrimination, said the order can’t be uncoupled from Trump’s campaign call for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the United States.
Several lawmakers expressed reservations about backing the order yesterday.
“I think my view is the president does have certainly the right to put in place extreme vetting,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), a member of the Intelligence Committee, told Fox News yesterday, adding, “It’s been four months since I said they needed four months to put that in place. I think you can do that without a travel ban and hopefully we are.”
O’Connell said Trump needs to sway prominent Republicans such as Lindsey Graham and John McCain.
“If those two are walking in lockstep, it’s very, very hard for the media to pierce the veil,” he said.
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