As a national petition to deport CNN host Piers Morgan approached 110,000, the White House stepped in and said the British journalist will get to stay in the U.S. “on the president’s orders
"Let's not let arguments over the Constitution's Second Amendment violate the spirit of its First," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said about the petition, which had garnered 109,334 signatures as of Thursday morning.
"President Obama believes that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. However, the Constitution not only guarantees an individual right to bear arms, but also enshrines the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press — fundamental principles that are essential to our democracy. Americans may disagree on matters of public policy and express those disagreements vigorously, but no one should be punished by the government simply because he or she expressed a view on the Second Amendment — or any other matter of public concern."
Following the news that he would not be deported, Morgan took to Twitter to thank the president personally.
"Thanks for keeping me, Mr President," Morgan wrote.
After watching the Brit's stance on "Piers Morgan Tonight," Alex Jones
, a radio host and commentator, started the push to have Morgan ousted from the country on Dec. 14. Morgan had spoken about America’s lax gun control laws following the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
The deportation petition says the anti-gun Morgan
is waging a "hostile attack against the U.S. Constitution by targeting the Second Amendment," demands Morgan be immediately deported for "exploiting his position as a national network television host to stage attacks against the rights of American citizens."
The controversy seemed to gain even more attention after Jones and Morgan went toe-to-toe on Tuesday evening when Jones went on a rant invoking a 1776-style revolution.
That's when the White House reacted, apparently to defuse an issue that was distracting from an orchestrated political move to tighten gun restrictions
Petitions on WhiteHouse.gov that receive 25,000 signatures are supposed to receive an official response, according to the website. The White House had previously responded to other petitions relating more directly to gun violence since the Newtown shootings that left 20 children and six adults dead.
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