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October 18, 2017
Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump's decision to add Chad to the list of countries on his latest travel ban came as a surprise to people inside the U.S. government, and it turns out a primary reason for Chad's inclusion was a lack of office supplies.

The Department of Homeland Security asked Chad and every other country to submit samples of passport paper so the department could take a close look and see how secure they are, several U.S. officials told The Associated Press. Chad ran out of passport paper and asked if it could send a sample already made up of the same type of passport, but DHS denied its request for an exemption.

A DHS spokesman confirmed that Chad did not send in a recent sample of its passport paper, but said there are other reasons the country made it on the list, primarily that it "does not share public safety and terrorism-related information." Recently, Chad temporarily stopped issuing passports, so that might be the reason it didn't have any paper hanging around, but it still seemed like an odd reason to put Chad on the list alongside countries like Syria and Libya. Chad is known for its counterterrorism efforts against Boko Haram, and when national security agencies learned that the Department of Homeland Security and the White House wanted to put Chad on the list, without much input from the State Department or Defense Department, they objected but were overruled, officials told AP. Catherine Garcia