DONALD Trump’s press secretary has blasted back against widespread criticism of the President’s executive order temporarily banning people traveling to the US from some Muslim-majority countries.
Sean Spicer gave a fiery defence of the controversial policy move, and said Trump “is not going to apologise for putting the safety of this country first and foremost”.
He told ABC’s This Week: “The criticism that’s coming is from someone who had gotten into office, hit the ground running, had a flurry of activity to do exactly what he said he was going to do, whether it was bringing back jobs, fighting for American taxpayers and cutting the cost and waste out of government programs or doing what he said overseas and protecting this nation.
“But he is not going to apologise for putting the safety of this country first and foremost.”
The billionaire tycoon’s executive order was widely condemned Saturday as protestors across the US descended on the country’s airports to hit back against the policy.
The press secretary gave an impassioned defence of the policy.
The President has been widely condemned for the order.
The directive bans all refugees entry to the US for 120 days, admission of citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days, and Syrian refugees indefinitely.
Mr Spicer said 109 people denied entry due to the order were “slowed down” Saturday out of more than 300,000 visitors to the US from foreign countries.
Asked if those rejected were subject to “humiliation”, the spin doctor argued the inconvenience of additional security measures was no comparison to the devastation caused by terrorist attacks.
Widespread protests against Trump's order have taken place in the US and beyond.
He said: “And so what do we say to the family or to the individual who gets hurt or the family of someone who gets killed because we didn’t take these steps?
“Protecting this nation and our people is the number one priority of this President and our government.”
Mr Spicer’s impassioned defence comes as pro-ISIS media channels lauded the President’s order, and argued it would drive a wedge between the US and its Muslim citizens.
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Gushing posts on “Abu Magrebi”, a pro-ISIS channel on the social media platform Telegram, described the policy as “blessed” – and even hailed Trump as the “best caller to Islam”.
One post read: “When US President Donald Trump says ‘We don’t want them here’ and bans the Muslim immigrants from Muslim countries, there is one thing that comes to our mind.”