President Trump signed an executive order stopping immigration from several Middle Eastern countries, and in particular, Syria. The other countries affected by the executive order are Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia.
“We don’t want them here,” the President said at the Pentagon, referring to radical Islamic terrorists. “We want to ensure that we are not admitting into our countries the very threats that our soldiers are fighting overseas.”
“We only want to admit those into our country who love our country, and love deeply our people,” he said.
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CNN weighed in on the executive order with Jake Tapper saying that Muslims are affected the most by terrorism:
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump finishing up the ceremonial swearing in of retired General James Mattis as secretary of defense. He’s there with his Vice President Mike Pence.
He also signed two executive actions, one beginning the process of, in his view, rebuilding the armed forces, and then another one which he said would protect the country from enemy — from foreign enemy entities, Islamic terrorists specifically he referred to.
Let’s go to CNN chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto at the Pentagon once more.
And we were talking about this before the ceremony. But this isn’t specifically singling out people with extremist ties and banning those individuals from coming into the country. This is a blanket ban, at least temporary, of all individuals from specific countries. And we should point out Islamic terrorism is, of course, an extreme problem in many of these countries, but Muslims happen to be the biggest victims of that Islamic terrorism in these countries as well.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: No question. We’ll list the countries covered under this executive order — Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Sudan. Some of those, state sponsors of terror. That’s why they’re on the list, that’s their governments.
The people, though, I mean, in effect, there is a presumption of guilt here by this, and I should note the president said as he signed this order that he wants to learn, he wants the country to learn the lessons of 9/11. Just to remind people, the hijackers, including those who came into the Pentagon here, they were from four countries, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon. None of those countries are on the list there.
So, it just shows — it raises questions about what exactly, from a counter-terror standpoint, this will — this will do, will accomplish. And then the broader question about what a religious test is, because this is a religious test. It’s not about banning people who have ties to terrorists or backgrounds. It talks about a delay initially for 30 days, 120 days for refugees, for everyone from these countries, Muslim majority countries, until the executive order says there can be better measures, including asking questions about their religious beliefs, which raises questions with many people, including people in that room there, as the president was signing — was signing that executive order.