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Trump Calls On Court To 'Do What's Right' And Uphold His Travel Ban

President Trump says it would be great for the justice system if courts would "do what's right."
Evan Vucci
President Trump says it would be great for the justice system if courts would "do what's right."

President Trump addressed the legal battle over his immigration ban on Wednesday morning, saying the courts "seem so political."

Speaking to a gathering of sheriffs and police chiefs in Washington, D.C., Trump said he had watched television coverage of the oral arguments before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday night "in amazement" and that he "heard things that I couldn't believe."

A three-judge panel of the appeals court is weighing a ruling by a lower court judge that blocked Trump's ban while the case proceeds; it is expected to issue its ruling later this week.

"I don't ever want to call a court biased," Trump said, adding, "but courts seem to be so political, and it would be so great for our justice system if they would be able to read a statement and do what's right."

Trump said he would not comment on the statement made "by certainly one judge."

But, Trump said, "right now we are at risk because of what happened." He said that if the judges wanted to "help the court in terms of respect for the court, they'd do what they should be doing."

Trump read parts of the statute that he says gives him authority to issue the ban on travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations, as well as a temporary halt in refugee admissions. "A bad high school student would understand this; anybody would understand this," he said. The executive order has been the target of dozens of lawsuits, including the one that prompted the stay.

Addressing criticism that the ban was rushed with no notice to either the affected travelers or the federal agents who had to enforce it, Trump said he had suggested there be a one-month notice but that "the law enforcement people said to me, 'Oh you can't give a notice,' " because then people are "going to pour in before the toughness takes effect."

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NPR News' Brian Naylor is a correspondent on the Washington Desk. In this role, he covers politics and federal agencies.