Politico — President Donald Trump is being pressured by some Republican lawmakers to abandon his oft-repeated claim that he never received a “total” ban on Muslims entering the United States.
Trump, however, has repeatedly suggested he received a full ban on entry from those with ties to radical Islam.
The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday held a hearing on Trump’s request for a review of the ban and said it was “highly likely” the president has received a complete ban on foreign nationals entering the U.S.
The committee’s ranking member, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, asked the Justice Department to review the request and the Justice and State Departments to provide their findings on whether a total ban is still warranted.
In an interview with Fox News on Tuesday, Grassley, the committee’s chairman, said the president’s request is “not consistent with the facts.”
“It’s hard to find a precedent that says a president can’t have a complete travel ban, and I think the evidence is overwhelming,” he said.
“It appears that there is some confusion and that there’s some miscommunication and that’s where the focus is.”
On Thursday, Trump said that he received “no such blanket” ban.
The White House and the Department of Homeland Security issued a joint statement that said the request was “misleading.”
In the interview, Grassley said Trump “has been telling the truth about the ban, but the facts are that he did not have a blanket ban.”
The Judiciary Committee’s inquiry follows a report from The Washington Post that said Trump did receive a “no ban” order from a retired judge, Thomas Hardiman, which the White House said was “taken without a hearing, and the order was not vetted by any federal agency.”
“We will be seeking to get back to the courts,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer said in an email to the newspaper.
Trump has repeatedly said that the ban on travel from six Muslim-majority countries was the result of a “Muslim ban” and said that his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, had a “one-size-fits-all” travel ban on people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.