Donald Trump is his own worst enemy. Twice the courts have struck down the travel ban against Muslims he promised repeatedly during his presidential campaign. In response, his spokespeople denied that it was a travel ban against Muslims. For example, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said “It’s not a Muslim ban. It’s not a travel ban. It’s a vetting system to keep America safe.” And the head of Homeland Security said that Trump’s executive order stopping immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries was “not a travel ban“. Just Thursday, Trump asked the Supreme Court to revive his (not a) travel ban.
And then, something happened Saturday night in London. A vehicle plowed into a group of pedestrians on London Bridge. Minutes later some people were stabbed in a nearby marketplace. Some were dead. The British PM announced that it was “a potential act of terrorism” and the initial news hit the US airwaves.
That was enough for Trump. He tweeted:
We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 3, 2017
Do you see what he did here? First of all, he used a tragedy in another country to promote a political agenda here. And he did it even before it was established that the event was actually terrorism, and before he knew whether Muslims were involved. Trump the bigot just filled in the details to fit his agenda.
More to the point of this post, he used the term “Travel Ban”. He even capitalized it (and didn’t put quotation marks around it). Is there any chance in hell that any court (including the Supreme Court) will not believe that Trump is promoting a travel ban?
And I cannot help but note that he felt compelled to blurt this out immediately, as the tragedy was initially unfolding. Just a week earlier, when two Americans died by stabbing at the hands of a known white supremacist who was verbally assaulting two Muslim women, Trump said nothing. Four days later (and after enormous public pressure) a tweet did appear, but it was from the @POTUS Twitter account, not @realDonaldTrump, so it almost certainly wasn’t from Trump himself, and it weakly said that the attack was “unacceptable”.
Again, based on Trump’s own words and actions, how can any court see that Trump’s travel ban is all about Muslims and is thus based on religion, and therefore clearly violates the constitution?
Also published on Medium.