President Donald Trump contradicted his own public positions in an early Monday Twitter rant against his administration's attempt to pause travel from countries with terror links, Republican strategist Karl Rove said.
"He took out a Twitter gun and shot himself four times," Rove said Monday on Fox News Channel's "The Story with Martha McCallum."
First, Rove noted, Trump tweeted that the effort to halt people coming into the country was a "travel ban," and that is something his own lawyers at the Justice Department have been taking care to avoid saying, instead using the term "pause."
Moments later, Trump said the government should be pushing for his original travel ban, not the current "watered-down version."
But Trump signed that very watered-down version after withdrawing the original travel ban, Rove said. "In essence, he is attacking himself, saying, I should have really stuck with the original."
Trump then said he wants an expedited hearing on the original order.
"Well, you can't do that because you withdrew it, Mr. President," Rove said. "No longer is it an executive order. You withdrew it."
But Rove said Trump did himself the most damage in his final tweet in which he said the government already is doing "extreme vetting" on people coming into the country.
The problem with that statement, Rove said, is that Trump's original executive order, which was rejected by the federal courts, argued that his administration wanted only a 90-day pause in immigration to give the administration time to come up with "extreme vetting" procedures.
In court, DOJ lawyers were asked if the White House was proceeding with drafting the vetting measures. They replied that they had stopped, which contradicts Trump's Monday tweet.
Trump said he needed only 90 days to draft the vetting procedures, but now has been in office for almost 125 days, Rove said, more than enough time to have achieved the goal.
George Conway, husband of White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, also criticized Trump over the tweets. Taking to Twitter himself, Conway said the tweets may make people feel better, but will do nothing to get the administration the five votes it needs on the Supreme Court.
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