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Trump claims 'smooth rollout' of travel freeze was ruined by 'bad court

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President Donald Trump told reporters during a lengthy press conference Thursday afternoon that the rollout of his controversial travel freeze was "smooth" but hampered by a "bad court."

At the start of the presser, which covered a broad array of topics, Trump asserted that his White House is running "like a well-oiled machine." But when BBC News' Jon Sopel wondered if the president's Jan. 27 executive order barring travel to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and instituting a 120-day moratorium on the refugee resettlement program — which was plagued with implementation problems and eventually struck down by the courts — is an example of a smooth-running administration, Trump quickly snapped back.

"Let me tell you about the travel ban," the president charged. "We had a very smooth roll out of the travel ban, but we had a bad court. We got a bad decision. We have a court that's been overturned — again, I may be wrong — but I think it's 87 percent of the time."

The court Trump was referring to was, of course, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which last week upheld an earlier injunction against the controversial travel ban that barred would-be visa applicants from Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, Yemen and Libya from entering the country.

But it was more than just the court system that made the order's implementation rocky.

Due to a lack of details and provisions in the executive action, legal permanent residents — or green-card holders — were detained at airports around the country immediately after Trump signed the document. A couple days later, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus told NBC's "Meet the Press" that "as far as green-card holders moving forward, it doesn't affect them."

As TheBlaze previously reported, CNN producer Mohammed Tawfeeq, an Iraqi national, was among those green-card holders detained. He filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection.

In addition, the travel freeze originally impacted Iraqi and Afghan interpreters who have for years worked with the U.S. government and military. It wasn't until the beginning of this month that the White House amended the executive order to exempt Iraqis who have aided American forces.

In early February, World Relief, a non-governmental, Christian organization aiding refugees around the world, took out an ad in the Washington Post, featuring scores of prominent Christian leaders who oppose the White House's freeze of the refugee resettlement program. And in an interview with TheBlaze, World Relief President Scott Arbeiter said, "We disagree [with] the notion that security and compassion are mutually exclusive."

Despite these problems, Trump has stood by the decision to roll out the order so quickly. However, during his presser on Thursday, the president said that the immediate implementation of the ban was Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly's call.

Kelly told the House Homeland Security Committee earlier this month, though, that he would have delayed the roll out of the order, if he was given a second chance, according to the Boston Globe:

In retrospect, I should have — this is all on me, by the way — I should have delayed it just a bit, so that I could talk to members of Congress, particularly the leadership of committees like this, to prepare them for what was coming, although I think most people would agree that this has been a topic of President Trump certainly during his campaign and during the transition process.

Trump originally pledged to fight the court's decision on his travel ban, but less than a week later, he changed his mind. The president indicated Thursday that a new executive order on the issue would be coming sometime next week.

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