Republican officials from 16 states back Trump in travel ban fight

NY lawyer George T. Conway III says Trump's Monday tweets taking aim at the Justice Department "may make some ppl feel better", but won't help win a majority in the Supreme Court.

Conway had been considered for at least two high-ranking Justice Department jobs, including solicitor general, the government lawyer who represents the president at the Supreme Court.

President Trump's recent tweets about his controversial travel ban - now before the U.S. Supreme Court - could hurt his own case, with the administration's legal opponents already threatening to use the statements to their advantage.

The Trump administration has appealed the travel ban to the Supreme Court, which would rule on its constitutionality if it takes up the case.

The latest example came when Trump defiantly tweeted on Monday night that he wants to call his plan to stop travel from six Muslim-majority countries a "travel ban" and "not some politically correct term".

Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, retweeted a City Hall NY1 reporter's tweet of the mayor leaving the Prospect Park YMCA shortly after 10 a.m., a number of security officers escorting him to a black vehicle, adding, "An elliptical thinker that has his city on a treadmill. working out or working?"

"We don't need the help but will take it!"

He called the courts, which have blocked both versions of the travel ban, "slow and political".

The message contradicts what White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said just hours earlier to defend Trump after his early Monday morning tweets about the travel ban.

Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who served under President George W. Bush, told the Huffington Post that Trump's actions "presents a challenge that the Department of Justice will have to deal with". He urged the Justice Department, which he oversees, to seek a "much tougher version" of the order. It's unclear whether the president has conveyed his requests to the department in a forum other than Twitter.

Trump has used attacks around the world to justify his pursuit of the travel and immigration ban, one of his first acts since taking office.

After that order was struck down by the courts, the administration made a decision to write a second directive rather than appeal against the initial ban to the Supreme Court.

The March directive narrowed the scope of the original order, which was hastily unveiled during Trump's first week in office.

"The executive order is a tailored response to a very real threat to our national security", Attorney General Paxton said. Both orders, aimed at temporarily halting entry to the US from a half-dozen Muslim-majority countries, have been blocked by the lower courts.

  • Larry Hoffman