Vice President Pence Defends Travel Ban

February 5th 2017

Willie Burnley Jr.

Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday defended President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban of nationals from seven Muslim-majority nations even after a federal judge halted its implementation until a decision could be rendered on its constitutionality.

"There's simply no question under the Constitution and, frankly, under federal law that the president of the United States has the authority, in the interest of national security, to determine who has the right to come into this country," Pence said on ABC's "This Week," repeating the administration's discredited argument that the order was designed to safeguard the country from terrorism.

The fact is that no person from any of the countries banned under Trump's order has participated in a terrorist act in the United States.

Some Republicans — including majority leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky — earlier questioned Trump's targeting of the federal judge in the matter.

Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to criticize the judge — U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle, who was appointed by President George W. Bush — and appeared to question his authority to halt the order.

Pence walked Trump's comments back when asked Sunday whether the judge had the authority to do this.

"He certainly does, and that's why the administration is complying with that order as we speak," Pence said before reiterating the administration's intention to challenge the ruling.

A federal appeals court rejected the administration's initial appeal early Sunday morning.