President Donald Trump issued his most substantial defense of his 'extreme vetting' executive order on Sunday afternoon, saying in a statement from the White House that he's not banning Muslims from entering the U.S. – and laying much of the grief at former president Barack Obama's feet.
'My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months,' Trump said of his own order, which is slated to expire in 90 days.
Obama's directive, carried out in response to a specific terror threat, affected only refugees. Trump's order is broader, including people from seven countries who want to emigrate to the U.S.
Trump also said Sunday said that those nations – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia Sudan, Syria and Yemen – 'are the same countries previously identified by the Obama administration as sources of terror.'
'To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting. This is not about religion – this is about terror and keeping our country safe. There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order.'