WASHINGTON: An irked President Donald Trump has hit out at a US judge who blocked his controversial travel ban on citi-zens 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 adminis-tration’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 peo-ple who have, in some cases, spent years seeking asylum.
Meanwhile, CNN, quoting people close to the White House said that Trump’s attacks will be a problem — particularly as his administration shepherds his Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch toward confirmation. “No one was happy the President attacked the judge,” one official said. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it was not the best idea to attack judges. “I think it’s best not to single out judges for criticism. We all get disappointed from time to time,” he said on Sunday, before Trump’s latest tweet.