Investigative journalist Carl Bernstein Wednesday lambasted President Donald Trump's executive order on travel from seven countries in the Middle East, calling it "bigotry" for a non-existent problem.
"This is a piece of Trump-ist bigotry masquerading as national security policy to solve a problem that according to all the experts in the Department of Homeland Security wasn't there," Bernstein, a political analyst for CNN, told the "New Day" program. "It is to fulfill campaign promises. It is to fulfill an authoritarian vision of himself and his presidency."
Bernstein pointed to former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who told Fox News on Sunday that at first, he was entrusted to find a legal justification for a ban on Muslims.
"He's admitted it," said Bernstein. "He's said it. You can look at his exact words, which are a tiny bit different than what I just said, but that's the reality. It is a piece of essential Trumpism. That is the reason that the country is divided the way it is now and why we have more people in the streets than what we've seen since the Vietnam era, and that's not going to go away."
Experts already have an effective vetting system in place, Bernstein continued, and rather than enacting a 90-day travel stoppage, re-evaluations could have been done in a case-by-case basis.
Meanwhile, Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon is said to have been one of the ban's architects, said Bernstein, but even before Bannon was on board with the campaign, Trump was already campaigning to keep Muslim immigrants out.
With his executive order, both Republicans and Democrats are reacting, Bernstein said, but Trump's administration got a reprieve Tuesday night with his "supposedly presidential-looking announcement about a Supreme Court justice."
The Trump/Bannon "vision of America," he continued, is "not in keeping with our history as a bastion and a welcoming, opening welcoming country for immigrants," including Trump's own relatives.
"This is a place we have not gone willingly in many years to this kind of attitudes in the presidency of the United States," said Bernstein.
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