EXCLUSIVE AUDIO

Trump adviser promises White House will ‘stay the course’ on travel ban

Mar 29, 2017, 10:07 AM | Updated: 10:08 am
(AP Photo)...
(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)
LISTEN: Sebastian Gorka, Deputy Assistant to the President

PHOENIX — A White House terror expert said Wednesday that President Donald Trump would “stay the course” in his pursuit of a travel ban against six majority-Muslim countries.

“We’re not allowing political correctness to endanger Americans,” White House terrorism adviser Sebastian Gorka told KTAR’s Arizona’s Morning News on Wednesday.

A federal judge planned to hear arguments the same day whether to extend a temporary block. The state of Hawaii filed a lawsuit challenging the revised travel ban three weeks ago.

The revised executive order sought to bar new visas for people from six predominantly Muslim countries and temporarily shut down the U.S. refugee program.

“… (It) has nothing to do with any faith group, with putative Islamophobia,” the deputy assistant to Trump said. “It has to do with national security.”

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson ruled the ban would hurt the state’s tourism industry and was discriminatory based on nationality and religion.

“We know what the enemy believes: when they say they are jihdaists, we are not going to wipe that out of the threat assessment,” Gorka said.

The Department of Justice opposed Hawaii’s request to extend Watson’s temporary order. But the agency noted that if the judge agreed, he should narrow the ruling to cover only the part of Trump’s executive order that suspended new visas for people from Somalia, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya and Yemen.

The president, Gorka said, “has every right to (change terms) he can shorten it, he can extend it, as you saw with the original list of seven nations.”

Iraq was on the original list, signed in late January, but dropped a month later.

“We will stay the course,” Gorka said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Trump adviser promises White House will ‘stay the course’ on travel ban