Lawyers on the left and right agree: The idiot in chief has really outdone himself with his latest Twitter rant concerning his flailing Muslim ban effort. Not only did he explicitly contradict his own communications team's assertion that the order isn't a "ban," he castigated his Justice Department for rewriting the order, which he subsequently gave his imprimatur by signing it into law.
Thanks, Donald, you're really doing wonders for your case that's pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. In other tweets, he touted his administration's "EXTREME VETTING" and threatened to seek a "much tougher version" of the order.
Even Kellyanne Conway's husband, George Conway, once under consideration for a Justice Department post, advised Trump to shut the heck up, writes Matt Zapotosky of the Washington Post:
“These tweets may make some ppl feel better, but they certainly won’t help OSG get 5 votes in SCOTUS, which is what actually matters. Sad,” he wrote, using abbreviations for Office of Solicitor General and the Supreme Court. [...]
Omar C. Jadwat, the ACLU lawyer who argued the case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, wrote that Trump’s tweets amounted to “a promise: let me do this and I’ll take it as license to do even worse.” In an interview, Jadwat said the president’s tweets “seem to undermine the picture the government’s been trying to paint.”
Of course, the whole point of rewriting the order was to make it seem more narrowly tailored and focused on safety rather than being broadly based on religious bias.
Nonetheless, Trump's very pointed and incessant campaign statements targeting Muslims have, thus far, legally hobbled his orders in five major lower and appeals court decisions halting the ban.
His Monday morning rant removes any distance that had been created through the passage of time from his campaign statements. Monday’s tweets reaffirmed his preference for the "original Travel Ban," which provided privileged treatment for Christians over Muslims, among other things.
He also offhandedly dismissed his own lawyers' urgent request to the Supreme Court that the ban be reinstated by asserting that his administration was already performing "extreme vetting" in any case.
Neal Katyal, a former Obama Justice Department official and current lead attorney for Hawaii's challenge to the ban, welcomed Trump's input.
From the briefing podium Monday, deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed everyone getting caught up in the “semantics” of whether it’s a “ban.”
“Look, I don't think the president cares what you call it, whether you call it a ban, whether you call it a restriction. He cares that we call it national security and that we take steps to protect the people of this country.”
Trump doesn’t care about much other than his own immediate gratification, but the courts might have something to say about all those tedious “semantics.”