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‘If something happens blame’ the judge: Trump to Americans

Monday, Feb 6, 2017,15:37 IST By anju A A A

Washington | An irked President Donald Trump has hit out at a US judge who blocked his controversial travel ban on citizens from seven Muslim-majority nations, saying Americans should blame the judge and the courts “if something happens”.

The US President’s ire was aimed at San Francisco District Judge James Robart, who last week put a nationwide hold on Trump’s executive order barring citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US for 90 days, all refugees for 120 days and indefinitely halts refugees from Syria.

“Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system.

People pouring in. Bad!” Trump tweeted, not just attacking Judge Robart’s decision but going after him who may yet make more decisions on the matter this week.

At the same time, Trump said that he has asked the Department of Homeland Security to do a very “careful” check of those entering the country after the court order.

“I have instructed Homeland Security to check people coming into our country VERY CAREFULLY. The courts are making the job very difficult!”

Trump’s criticism comes after the San Francisco-based 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, in a brief order, denied the administration’s request to set aside Robart’s ruling that put a temporary hold on the ban.

Trump says the 90-day travel ban on citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, and a 120-day bar on all refugees, are necessary to protect the United States from Islamist militants.

The travel restrictions have drawn protests in the US, provoked criticism from US allies and created chaos for thousands of people who have, in some cases, spent years seeking asylum.

In his ruling, Robart questioned the use of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States as a justification for the ban, saying no attacks had been carried out on US soil by individuals from the seven affected countries since then.

For Trump’s order to be constitutional, Judge Robart said, it had to be “based in fact, as opposed to fiction”.

In a series of tweets on Saturday, Trump had attacked the opinion of this “so-called judge” as “ridiculous”.

US Vice President Mike Pence yesterday called the ruling a “wrong decision” and vowed the Trump administration will take “all legal means” to protect the country.