President Donald Trump's executive order on travel isn't about religion, but about keeping the United States safe, author Sebastian Gorka, a close adviser of Trump's, insisted Monday morning, while accusing CNN anchor Chris Cuomo and others in the media of using small soundbites to create out-of-context news.
"If it were about religion, it wouldn't have these seven nations on there," said Gorka on CNN's "New Day" program. "Why isn't Egypt on the list, the largest Arab nation in the world? It's about the threat to America, about people being mowed down in Nice, about people being killed in mass numbers in Paris and Brussels and Istanbul. We don't want that to happen on our shores. That's why we did what we did."
A court in Boston ruled the travel order as constitutional, but a Seattle federal court ruling resulted in a temporary stay on the ban.
"I think it's very clear if you look at the statements that came out of the federal court in Boston about how this is a completely legal measure," said Gorka.
"If you look at the original act from the 1950s and the more recent one that gave the president the exclusive right to determine if there are national security concerns with immigrants coming into this country, it's a slam dunk. He's completely within his mandate."
The order did not name some countries, like Saudi Arabia, because ISIS did not create its new caliphate there, Gorka said, and was not about the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
"We are 16 years down the line," said Gorka, as now the threat is about ISIS and trying to prevent "what's going to happen next, and about what the bad guys are doing right now, not about history 16 years ago."
Gorka also defended Trump's Sunday statements comparing U.S. activities to those in Russia, but he insisted that nobody was saying the two countries are morally equivalent.
"That would be an asinine statement, said Gorka. "Every community, every society has its problems. If you deny that, you're living in some kind of Alice in Wonderland. I think that's what the president is trying to say. The media is trying to spin it into a story."
But then again, Gorka said, he listens to everything Trump says, and he doesn't base a story out of a "tiny soundbite."
"I look at the statements he made in his press conference a couple weeks ago where he was very blunt about the problems with Vladimir Putin and Russia and our relations," said Gorka.
"He said, 'look, I'd like to be friends with this guy, but if I can't be, so be it . . . let's not create fake news out of two-second sound bites. Not worthy of you."
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