Speed Reads

what's in a word?

A short history of Trump using the word 'ban'

To ban, or not to ban? That was the question at the White House daily briefing Tuesday when Press Secretary Sean Spicer insisted President Donald Trump "has made very clear" that the executive action on immigration "is not a Muslim ban. It's not a travel ban. It's a vetting system to keep America safe. That's it." After pushback, Spicer reiterated: "It can't be a ban if you're letting a million people in."

By Wednesday morning, Trump had jumped into the fray:

Trump did not call his proposal a ban when he first introduced it as "preventing Muslim immigration" in late 2015. "Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on," the statement read.

But Trump has used the word "ban" to talk about his plan since early 2016:

And as recently as Monday:

When a reporter asked Tuesday if the White House was confused about the word "ban," Spicer said: "I'm not confused. The words that are being used to describe it are derived from what the media is calling it."