US President Donald Trump on Monday again rejected accusations that his ban on travellers from Muslim countries had prompted chaos in US airports, blaming protesters and a computer systems outage at Delta Airlines.
Trump’s executive order issued Friday temporarily banning travellers from seven predominantly Muslim countries and suspending the arrival of all refugees prompted thousands to protest at major US airports amid outrage around the world.
“Big problems at airports were caused by Delta computer outage, protesters and the tears of Senator Schumer,” he tweeted about the Democratic Senate minority leader who made an emotional vow on Sunday to fight Trump’s order.
Trump played down the detention of 109 people of the 325,000 arriving in the United States, adding that his new Homeland Security Department chief John Kelly assures “all is going well with very few problems. MAKE AMERICA SAFE AGAIN!”
“There is nothing nice about searching for terrorists before they can enter our country,” Trump added in another tweet. “This was a big part of my campaign. Study the world!”
Trump’s order suspends the arrival of all refugees for a minimum of 120 days, Syrian refugees indefinitely and bars citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days.
The White House later pulled back on part of the ban, saying it would not apply to those with permanent residence status in the United States.
Some top Republican lawmakers have urged Trump to back down over measures that stranded travellers around the world and prompted tens of thousands to protest in a number of US cities, criticising what they see as anti-Muslim policies.
Introduced just a week after he took office to stop “radical Islamic terrorists” from entering the United States, the order’s vague language has caused confusion among border guards charged with implementing it.
Four federal judges have moved to halt deportations of those detained at airports.
Apparently addressing criticism that the White House introduced the order suddenly without consulting border service and other relevant officials, Trump tweeted on Monday that “if the ban were announced with a one week notice, the ‘bad’ would rush into our country during that week.”
“A lot of bad ‘dudes’ out there!”