Speed Reads

on the defensive

Amid outrage, Trump defends immigration executive order

In a statement released Sunday, President Trump said the executive order he signed on Friday "is not a Muslim ban," and while he has "tremendous feeling" for the refugees fleeing Syria, "my first priority will always be to protect and serve our country."

The order, which caused confusion and protests at airports across the country and outrage from Democrats and Republicans alike, stopped refugee entry into the U.S. for 120 days and barred citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, and Yemen — from entering the U.S. for three months.

Although Trump campaign surrogate Rudy Giuliani said on Saturday Trump had asked him how to "legally" implement a "Muslim ban," in his statement, Trump said: "To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting. This is not about religion — this is about terror and keeping our country safe. There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order." Four countries not affected by the order are Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates — the home nations of the 19 terrorists involved in the Sept. 11 attacks and places where Trump and his family do business.