President Donald Trump posted on Twitter Monday morning to defend his Muslim ban that sparked massive nationwide protests at airports over the weekend, stating that only a small number of people were detained due to his executive order whereas the protests, in conjunction with a Delta computer outage, caused the real disruption.
"Only 109 people out of 325,000 were detained and held for questioning. Big problems at airports were caused by Delta computer outage, protesters and the tears of Senator Schumer," Trump tweeted. "Secretary Kelly said that all is going well with very few problems. MAKE AMERICA SAFE AGAIN!"
Many of those detained and held for questioning, however, were either legal permanent residents of the United States, or refugees who had already gone through a vetting process and received their paperwork, only to be detained by Trump's executive order.
Though Trump cited approval from the secretary of homeland security, John Kelly, in his Monday morning tweet, others in his party have been critical of the Muslim-targeting ban.
"You have an extreme vetting proposal that did not get the vetting it should have," Ohio GOP Sen. Rob Portman said Sunday on CNN.
"It is clear from the confusion at our airports across the nation that President Trump's executive order was not properly vetted," said Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham in a joint statement issued Sunday. "We are particularly concerned by reports that this order went into effect with little to no consultation with the Departments of State, Defense, Justice and Homeland Security. Such a hasty process risks harmful results."
The hastily cobbled together executive order did not hold up to initial legal challenges in federal court: A federal judge placed a stay on the order Saturday evening that either halted the deportation of these green hard holders and refugees that had received the proper paperwork from the seven majority Muslim countries included in the ban, or forced them to be released from detainment by Customs and Border Patrol.
Because of the backlash against detaining legal permanent residents who had already been living in the United States, the Trump administration reversed course on their detainment, announcing Sunday they would not be deported back to their country of origin.
The executive order is likely to face more legal challenges down the road, as groups like the American Civil Liberties Union vow to fight against the ban.