Kellyanne Conway set out on Sunday morning to deal with this weekend’s Trump-related controversy. This, of course, involved the fallout over his executive order on immigration, which instituted a ban on refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries. This prompted U.S. airports to detain several refugees and visa holders. And after massive spontaneous protests broke out, a federal judge partially suspended the ban and blocked the deportation of refugees who were already detained.
The total airport chaos was also complicated by the timing of Trump’s order, which arrived late on a Friday afternoon. This meant that Border Patrol personnel were given little to no guidance for the weekend travel rush. While speaking to Fox News’ Chris Wallace, Conway brushed off the judge’s suspension of the ban, which she insists will have little effect on Trump’s order. She also insisted that the number of detained refugees was “a small price to pay” and that these people can expect “to be released in due course” after the vetting process. All in the name of safety:
“You’re talking about 325,000 people from overseas came into this country just yesterday through our airports. You’re talking about three hundred and some who have been detained or are prevented from gaining access to an aircraft in their home countries and must stay for now. That’s 1 percent. And I think in terms of the upside being greater protection of our borders, of our people, it’s a small price to pay … I was stopped many times after 9/11. I didn’t resemble, or share a name with any kind of conspiracy, but this is what we do to keep the nation safe.”
Wallace then pressed Conway to defend Trump’s order for its exclusion of Saudi Arabia (where Trump holds significant business ties) as one of the countries whose refugees would be banned from entering the U.S. That should be the stumbling block here, since most of the 9/11 hijackers hailed from that country, so if Trump’s trying to secure our borders from terrorists, why not include Saudi Arabia? Conway simply said that Congress and the president made their determinations, and she’s fine with that.
(Elsewhere on Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus appeared on Meet the Press with a slight backtrack on the order. He said green card holders won’t be detained or barred from entering the United States.)
In this second clip, Wallace asked Conway whether Trump will nominate a Supreme Court judge who wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, and she confirmed this will happen. She believes the decision was an unconstitutional one — because she doesn’t like the word “prenumbra,” which was how the decision was framed in terms of the right to privacy — and she lamented the “millions of innocent babies” that have been aborted. The clip closes with Conway attempting to convince Wallace that Steve Bannon didn’t really tell the media to “shut up” (he did say this). She says he actually meant “listen more.”