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US President Donald Trump can’t be judged by Syria related tweets in 2013: White House official

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US President Donald Trump. VOA
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Washington, April 8, 2017: A White House official said Donald Trump’s tweets in 2013 arguing against military action in Syria should not be held against him because he was not the President then, a media report said.

“I think you’d admit that the things you say when you’re in a certain situation without the requisite experience that may come later shouldn’t be held against you,” Trump’s Deputy Assistant, Sebastian Gorka, said on Friday.

“You may have great ideas about what it means to be a parent, but you have no idea what it means to bear the responsibility once you have children. This is the same situation.”

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Gorka said Trump’s perspective is different as President, CNN reported.

“What one says as a businessman…or what one says on the campaign trail in a politically charged environment for a year, is incredibly different to the perspective you may have after you take on the mantle of the commander-in-chief, and you are the person responsible for the safety of all Americans,” Gorka said.

“That’s what experience tells us, and to judge based on statements they made when they were not in that position of responsibility.”

Trump’s past tweets arguing against intervention in Syria resurfaced on Thursday, when Trump ordered a missile strike on a Syrian airfield in response to the chemical weapons attack by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime on a rebel stronghold that killed over 80 civilians, including children. (IANS)

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White House: Judge’s Decision Halting Travel Ban ‘Dangerously Flawed’

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Travel Ban
A sign for International Arrivals is shown at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle.VOA

The White House is reacting furiously to a federal judge blocking President Donald Trump’s latest executive Travel Ban order that would have banned entry to travelers from several countries beginning Wednesday.

“Today’s dangerously flawed district court order undercuts the president’s efforts to keep the American people safe and enforce minimum security standards for entry into the United States,” said a White House statement issued Tuesday shortly after Judge Derrick Watson ruled against restrictions on travelers from six countries the Trump administration said could not provide enough information to meet U.S. security standards.

The travel ban order would have barred to various degrees travelers from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

Watson’s temporary restraining order does not interfere with restrictions on North Korea and Venezuela.

Justice Department defends White House

The Justice Department “will vigorously defend the president’s lawful action,” the White House said, contending its proclamation restricting travel was issued after an extensive worldwide security review.

The Justice Department called the ruling incorrect and said it will appeal the decision “in an expeditious manner.”

Homeland Security Acting Secretary Elaine Duke said: “While we will comply with any lawful judicial order, we look forward to prevailing in this matter upon appeal.”

Acting Director of Homeland Security Elaine Duke
Acting Director of Homeland Security Elaine Duke testifies before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on Capitol Hill in Washington. VOA

No change for North Korea, Venezuela

The new travel order “suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor: it lacks sufficient findings that the entry of more than 150 million nationals from six specified countries would be ‘detrimental to the United States,'” Judge Watson wrote in his opinion.

The White House argues that its restrictions “are vital to ensuring that foreign nations comply with the minimum security standards required for the integrity of our immigration system and the security of our nation.”

Officials in the White House are expressing confidence that further judicial review will uphold the president’s action.

Hawaii involved for third time

Consular officials have been told to resume “regular processing of visas” for people from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, according to a State Department official.

The suit on which Judge Watson ruled on Tuesday was filed by the state of Hawaii, the Muslim Association of Hawaii and various individuals.

“This is the third time Hawaii has gone to court to stop President Trump from issuing a travel ban that discriminates against people based on their nation of origin or religion,” said Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin. “Today is another victory for the rule of law.”(VOA)