Unnamed White House official on travel ban: ‘It really is a massive success story in terms of implementation’
Two days into President Donald Trumpâ€™s new ban on refugees, migrants and foreign nationals from seven countries, there was still mass confusion about the details. On Sunday evening, the White House organized a briefing for reporters with two senior administration officials who agreed to explain the presidentâ€™s executive order â€” but only on the condition anonymity.
One senior administration official explained the ground rules to reporters gathered at the White House and listening on a conference call, then said: â€œWith that, Iâ€™ll turn it over to a senior administration official.â€�
â€œThank you,â€� the other senior administration official said before beginning a 45-minute defence.
Their overarching message: Everything is going exactly according to plan, nothing has changed since the order was signed, and the news media need to calm down their â€œfalse, misleading, inaccurate, hyperventilatingâ€� coverage of the â€œfractional, marginal, minuscule percentageâ€� of international travellers who have been simply â€œset aside for further questioningâ€� for a couple hours on their way into the greatest country in the world.
â€œIt really is a massive success story in terms of implementation on every single level,â€� the administration official said at one point.
The administration official said the order was drafted with help from â€œseveral of the top immigration staff on Capitol Hill,â€� then was approved by the Justice Departmentâ€™s Office of Legal Counsel and reviewed by some government agencies. The White House purposely implemented the ban with no warning because â€œeverybody here can use their imaginations to imagine 25 reasons that wouldnâ€™t make sense from a security standpoint, a management standpoint, from just an airport-safety standpoint, you name it,â€� the senior administration official said. (The other senior administration official jumped in at one point to make clear that the order â€œisnâ€™t willy-nilly.â€�)
There had been some confusion about how legal permanent residents â€“ also known as green-card holders â€“ would be treated under this new order. On Saturday, this same senior administration official told reporters that if a green-card holder from one the seven targeted countries is currently elsewhere in the world, that person would need to apply for a case-by-case waiver before returning to the United States. But then on Sunday morning, the presidentâ€™s chief of staff went onto a morning news show and said that the executive order â€œdoesnâ€™t affect them.â€�
â€œNothing has changed,â€� the senior administration official explained, claiming that the White House has provided clear instructions from the beginning on how green-card holders should navigate the
Article source: News Source