Trump Says He Wanted to Delay Travel Ban for a Month

President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he originally wanted to delay his temporary travel ban for a month, but was convinced by law enforcement advisers to push the implementation of his executive order so nefarious actors wouldn’t rush into the U.S. ahead of the deadline.

“I wanted to give like a month, then I said, ‘Well, what about a week? They said, ‘Well then you’re going to have a whole pile of people – perhaps, perhaps – with very evil intentions coming in before the restrictions,'” he said at the Major Cities Chiefs Association winter conference in Washington.

The president’s remarks were his administration’s latest defense of an executive order – signed on Jan. 27 with little warning – that sparked protests, confusion and legal barriers after court challenges in multiple states. The directive halted acceptance of Syrian refugees indefinitely and temporarily barred most people from seven Muslim-majority nations from traveling to the U.S. for three months.

On Jan. 30, after a chaotic weekend at major U.S. airports, Trump defended the executive order’s rushed rollout.

“If the ban were announced with a one week notice, the ‘bad’ would rush into our country during that week,” he tweeted. “A lot of bad ‘dudes’ out there!”

But Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly this week acknowledged to Congress that the speed at which the travel ban was implemented was responsible for some of the confusion.

“In retrospect, I should have – this is all on me, by the way – I should have delayed it just a bit so that I could talk to members of Congress, particularly to the leadership of committees like this, to prepare them for what was coming,” Kelly told House lawmakers on Tuesday.

Kelly said the order would improve safety “for all our citizens,” but that he would have preferred to hold off for “a day or two.”

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SOURCE: U.S. News & World Report, Gabrielle Levy