Donald Trump insisted yesterday that his executive order barring refugees and citizens of seven Muslim countries was “not a Muslim ban.” But apparently, Rudy Giuliani didn’t get the memo because he told Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, on the air that a “Muslim ban” was exactly what Trump wanted and that Giuliani helped craft the order so that it didn’t appear to be one. UPDATED
In an interview with Giuliani right after a judge had stayed part of the order last night, Pirro asked if the ban had “anything to do with religion” and how Trump decided on the seven countries.
Giuliani gave this jaw-dropping reply:
GIULIANI: I’ll tell you the whole history of it! So, when he [Trump] first announced it, he said, “Muslim ban.” He called me up. He said, “Put a commission together. Show me the right way to do it legally.” I put a commission together with Judge Mukasey with Congressman McCaul, Pete King. Whole group of other very expert lawyers on this. And what we did was, we focused on, instead of religion, danger! The areas of the world that create danger for us - which is a factual basis not a religious basis. Perfectly legal. Perfectly sensible. And that’s what the ban is based on. It’s not based on religion. It’s based on places where there are substantial evidence that people are sending terrorists into our country.
That should have been a “Wait, what?” moment for Pirro. But if she noticed what Giuliani had just divulged, she ignored it.
Pirro did say that she was surprised to see that Trump’s list did not include Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, especially since the wife of the San Bernardino attacker was born in Pakistan and then “came through” Saudi Arabia.
Giuliani claimed that Trump is dealing with a “new Saudi Arabia” and “a very different Saudi Arabia” than the one President Obama dealt with. However, he also said the exclusion of Pakistan “troubles me.”
That should have been another “Wait, what?” moment for Pirro. Giuliani had just told her that he had crafted an order that focused on areas of the world that pose a danger and yet at least one country that he thinks poses a danger somehow got left out. But Pirro didn’t have any curiosity about how that could have happened.
But here’s what nobody mentioned: Trump has hinted he wants to do business in Pakistan and, according to the Washington Post, his business has previously taken steps to build a hotel in Saudi Arabia (though the project was halted after Trump won election). The Post also noted that Trump’s “ban list” excludes “several majority-Muslim nations where the Trump Organization is active and which in some cases have also faced troublesome issues with terrorism.” In other words, he left out countries whose citizens could pose a threat.
Oh, and the order is quite likely unconstitutional even without the explicit ban on religion.
Watch Giuliani spill the beans to a Trump-friendly Pirro below, from the January 28, 2017 Justice with Judge Jeanine.
1/30/17 Last night, in a statement to Fox News, Giuliani tried to un-spill the beans.
Their hopes of finding peace and security in the USA have crashed. They are all – to a man – at risk of execution if they cannot leave those countries. Wouldn’t surprise me one bit to learn that they feel betrayed.
I do hereby go on record as being convinced that Jeffrey Lord (a Trump support often seen on CNN) is a deluded fool, not an expert on intelligence, nor even a journalist as he claims to be. Why is stupidity so much more contagious than intelligence?