Priebus defends swift action to bar refugees

Trump and Priebus at victory speech

WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House chief of staff says President Donald Trump acted early on in his term to impose a travel ban on refugees to block “people who want to do bad things to America.”

Reince Priebus says there’s nothing to apologize for after Friday’s executive order drew widespread protests. A court order has temporarily barred the U.S. from deporting certain people.

Trump is temporarily barring refugees and citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S.

Priebus tells NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the action “doesn’t affect green card holders moving forward” – the subject of legal challenges.

Scores were detained Saturday upon arrival at U.S. airports, spurring the judge’s order. Priebus says officials were using “discretionary authority” to ask “a few more questions” at U.S. airports.

Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway told “Fox News Sunday” that a federal judge’s emergency order last night temporarily barring the U.S. from deporting people from nations subject to Trump’s travel ban “really doesn’t affect the executive order at all.” Conway says Trump’s order is about “preventing, not detaining” and says that only a very small percentage of travers have been impacted.

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