'The whole series of tweets is relevant': Trump's Twitter rant could undercut his own case for the 'travel ban'



President Donald Trump's doubling down Monday on his executive order banning travel to the US from six majority-Muslim countries could complicate his administration's argument in the case as it heads toward the Supreme Court.

"People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!" Trump wrote on Monday. "The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to" the Supreme Court.

SEE MORE: Trump doubles down on 'travel ban' talk

In his tweets, Trump suggested that his revised immigration order, which excluded Iraq from the list of banned countries and removed language that appeared to give preference to Christian refugees, was only a "watered-down" version of the first one — not a brand-new order with different policy goals, as the Department of Justice had argued before appeals courts.

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President Trump revives travel ban argument
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President Trump revives travel ban argument
People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!
The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C.
The Justice Dept. should ask for an expedited hearing of the watered down Travel Ban before the Supreme Court - & seek much tougher version!
In any event we are EXTREME VETTING people coming into the U.S. in order to help keep our country safe. The courts are slow and political!
.@foxandfriends Dems are taking forever to approve my people, including Ambassadors. They are nothing but OBSTRUCTIONISTS! Want approvals.
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The tweets "undercut the government's arguments that the administration only promulgated the bans to allow for 'extreme vetting' of visa applicants, and show that the president still thinks of the orders as a continuation — though now 'watered down and politically correct' — of his call for a Muslim ban," said William Stock, the president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Stock said he believed "the whole series of tweets is relevant, to the extent that the Supreme Court is willing to go beyond a superficial determination that the two bans were issued for a 'facially legitimate and bona fide' reason."

Trump used similar language over the weekend, tweeting after the Saturday-night terrorist attack in London that "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."

'No national security purpose for a total ban'

Federal courts have blocked Trump's travel ban at every turn since his administration rolled it out in late January, just days after Trump took office.

Late last month, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, refused to reinstate the revised immigration order. Chief Judge Roger L. Gregory argued for the majority that Trump's discriminatory statements about Muslims along the campaign trail revealed "his intent, if elected, to ban Muslims from the United States."

Gregory added that there was "ample evidence" to show that national security was "not the true reason" for Trump's revised immigration order, and that the revised travel ban did not dispel the concerns raised by the first one because Trump and his advisers have said it has "the same policy goals as" the first.

In its decision, the district court also said it considered the declaration made by 10 "former national security, foreign policy, and intelligence officials who previously served in the White House, State Department, DHS, and Central Intelligence Agency" that "there is no national security purpose for a total ban on entry for aliens from the" designated countries.

Neal Katyal, a Washington, DC, attorney who is representing Hawaii in the state's lawsuit against Trump's immigration order, tweeted on Monday in response to Trump that "it's kinda odd to have the defendant in Hawaii v. Trump acting as our co-counsel. We don't need the help but will take it!"

'Shifting interpretations' of the immigration order

Trump's past comments about a ban on Muslims, coming most prominently during his presidential campaign, have also weighed heavily on the judges' perceptions of his motivations. But the Supreme Court may refuse to consider the comments Trump made along the campaign trail about barring Muslims from entering the US as it decides whether the order is constitutional.

Still, the extent to which the president's immigration order has been altered since it was first rolled out may give courts reason enough to wonder about an ulterior motive.

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Protests against Trump's proposed travel ban
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Protests against Trump's proposed travel ban
People protest U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban outside of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Seattle, Washington, U.S. May 15, 2017. REUTERS/David Ryder
A man holds an umbrella during a protest of U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban outside of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Seattle, Washington, U.S. May 15, 2017. REUTERS/David Ryder
A protester from Amnesty International rallies against U.S. President Donald Trump's new executive order temporarily banning the entry of refugees and travelers from six Muslim-majority countries in Sydney, Australia, March 9, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Demonstrator protests against President Donald Trump's revised travel ban outside the offices of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., March 16, 2017. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski
A woman protests against U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban outside of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Seattle, Washington, U.S. May 15, 2017. REUTERS/David Ryder
Chrissy Pearce protests outside the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals courthouse in San Francisco, California February 7, 2017, ahead of the Court hearing arguments regarding President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries. REUTERS/Noah Berger
Demonstrators protest against President Donald Trump's revised travel ban outside the offices of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., March 16, 2017. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski
Demonstrators protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's revised travel ban outside the offices of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., March 16, 2017. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 28: Protestors rally in front of the Trump Building on Wall Street during a protest against the Trump administration's proposed travel ban and refugee policies, March 28, 2017 in New York City. The Trump administration's proposed travel ban includes a provision that would bar refugees entry into the United States for 120 days. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 28: Protestors place photographs of refugees in rafts in front of the Trump Building on Wall Street during a protest against the Trump administration's proposed travel ban and refugee policies, March 28, 2017 in New York City. The Trump administration's proposed travel ban includes a provision that would bar refugees entry into the United States for 120 days. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 16: Demonstrators protest outside the office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on March 16, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The demonstrators were protesting the revised travel ban that the administration of President Donald Trump was trying to implement. The ban, which would restrict travel from six predominantly Muslim countries, was supposed to be instituted today but was halted yesterday by a federal judge in Hawaii. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Demonstrators gather near The White House to protest President Donald Trump's travel ban on six Muslim countries on March 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Tasos Katopodis (Photo credit should read TASOS KATOPODIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Demonstrators gather near The White House to protest President Donald Trump's travel ban on six Muslim countries on March 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Tasos Katopodis (Photo credit should read TASOS KATOPODIS/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 3: Protestors write messages directed toward President Donald Trump on lanterns near the Washington Monument, February 3, 2017 in Washington, DC. The protest is aimed at President Trump's travel ban policy. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Thousands of protesters with banners and placards march through central London during a demonstration against U.S. President Donald Trump on February 4, 2017 in London, England. Thousands of protesters march from the U.S. Embassy in London to Downing Street today against President Trump's executive order banning immigration to the USA from seven Muslim countries. (Photo by Jay Shaw Baker/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 29: Linda Sarsour attends a rally to protest the executive order that President Donald Trump signed clamping down on refugee admissions and temporarily restricting travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries in New York City on January 29, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 03: Demonstrators protest against US President Donald Trump's ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries entering the US on February 3, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. The demonstrators are protesting against United States President Donald Trump's travel ban affecting citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Rosalie Gurna, 9, holds a sign in support of Muslim family members as people protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban on Muslim majority countries, at the International terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 28, 2017. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
People protest against President Donald Trump's travel ban in New York City, U.S., February 1, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Demonstrators participate in a protest by the Yemeni community against U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., February 2, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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The Ninth Circuit, which denied the government's emergency appeal to lift the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on Trump's first immigration order issued in January by a Seattle judge, wrote that the government's "shifting interpretations of the Executive Order" was cause for concern.

"We cannot say that the current interpretation by White House counsel, even if authoritative and binding, will persist past the immediate stage of these proceedings," the judges wrote.

The immigration order originally prevented US green-card holders from one of the seven targeted countries — Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen — from being allowed into the US. The White House amended that one day later, however, to allow those with legal immigration status who had been detained at airports to be released.

The revised order, issued just over one month later, removed Iraq from the list of banned countries and removed language that explicitly referred to religion.

The Trump administration has insisted that the "extreme vetting" orders signed by Trump do not amount to a "Muslim ban." But lawyers and civil-rights organizations have argued that the ban violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment by "explicitly disapproving of one religion and implicitly preferring others."

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SEE ALSO: TRUMP DOUBLES DOWN: I'm calling it what it is — 'a TRAVEL BAN'

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