What a weekend this has been, and it’s seemingly culminated in Donald Trump causing “World War III” to trend on Twitter. How did this happen? Well, it’s complicated…
By now, the entire universe is aware that Donald Trump issued an executive order on immigration on Friday, which placed a U.S. ban on refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries. While much of the Internet looked on in horror, and spontaneous protests prompted a federal judge to partially suspend the ban, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham crafted a joint statement. Together, they condemned Trump’s immigration order, both for its lack of vetting and what they perceive as its ultimate effect:
“It is clear from the confusion at our airports across the nation that President Trump’s executive order was not properly vetted. We are particularly concerned by reports that this order went into effect with little to no consultation with the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security … Ultimately, we fear this executive order will become a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism.”
It won’t surprise anyone to learn that Trump lashed out in response. He accused McCain and Graham of being “wrong” and “weak on immigration.”
He then tweeted that Senators should focus on issues of national security instead of “always looking to start World War III.”
Some people worry that Trump will cause World War III, and the sheer weirdness of him accusing other people of trying to start it was too much to process. This Twitter tantrum even went down immediately after Trump’s Finding Dory White House screening. Sadly, folks were not entirely shocked.
Still, Trump appears to be undeterred by the criticism and protests over his immigration ban. On Sunday, he issued a statement to defend his new extreme-vetting guidelines and accuse the media of falsely reporting the situation:
“America has always been the land of the free and home of the brave. We will keep it free and keep it safe, as the media knows, but refuses to say … 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.”
He’s actually arguing that this is not a Muslim ban, even though the new screening procedures include a religious test that grants priority to Christian refugees over Muslims. Also, Rudy Giuliani visited Fox News on Sunday morning and revealed that Trump did indeed ask him how to create a Muslim ban that was done “legally.” So, Giuliani went to work:
“And what we did was, we focused on, instead of religion, danger — the areas of the world that create danger for us. Which is a factual basis, not a religious basis. Perfectly legal, perfectly sensible. And that’s what the ban is based on. It’s not based on religion. It’s based on places where there are substantial evidence that people are sending terrorists into our country.”
Giuliani and Trump can tweak the rhetoric all they want, but Trump’s executive order on immigration pretty much looks like a Muslim ban.