Vice President Mike Pence is taking a different approach from President Donald Trump to a Washington state judge's nationwide restraining order on the White House's temporary travel freeze.
Pence, in a pre-taped interview on ABC's "This Week" that aired Sunday, told host George Stephanopoulos that Judge James Robart "certainly" has the right to halt Trump's executive order. "That's why the administration is complying with that order as we speak," the vice president said.
— ABC News (@ABC) February 5, 2017
Trump, however, took a less diplomatic route. In one of the president's signature tweet storms over the weekend, Trump called Robart's move a "terrible decision," claiming that many "very bad and dangerous people may be pouring into our country" as a result.
What is our country coming to when a judge can halt a Homeland Security travel ban and anyone, even with bad intentions, can come into U.S.?— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1486241047.0
Because the ban was lifted by a judge, many very bad and dangerous people may be pouring into our country. A terrible decision— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1486244689.0
Why aren't the lawyers looking at and using the Federal Court decision in Boston, which is at conflict with ridiculous lift ban decision?— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1486251479.0
The judge opens up our country to potential terrorists and others that do not have our best interests at heart. Bad people are very happy!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1486255692.0
I have instructed Homeland Security to check people coming into our country VERY CAREFULLY. The courts are making the job very difficult!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1486327353.0
Pence defended Trump's brash criticism of the Washington judge, who was nominated in 2003 by former President George W. Bush and confirmed unanimously in a 99-0 vote by the Senate in 2004, saying the billionaire was just "speaking his mind."
Robart issued the nationwide restraining order on Friday, immediately freezing Trump's controversial immigration action, which instituted a 90-day freeze on entry into the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries and a 120-day halt of the refugee resettlement program.
The judge's order restrains the Trump administration from enforcing portions of Section 3, which applies to the seven-country travel freeze, and Section 5, which applies to the refugee resettlement moratorium, of Trump's executive action.
Section 3 calls for the suspension of "entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order." Section 5 places a 120-day freeze on the refugee resettlement program pending a review of the "application and adjudication process to determine what additional procedures should be taken to ensure that those approved for refugee admission do not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the United States."
Robart's restraining order takes particular issue with Section 5, paragraph (e), which calls for the prioritization of refugees who are members of a minority religion.
Both the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department have complied with Robart's order.
"And we'll go through the process in the courts to get a stay of that order, so that again, we can implement this action that is entirely focused on the safety and security of the American people," Pence said.
A federal appeals court on Sunday denied the Justice Department's request to restore Trump's travel freeze.