President Donald Trump characterized his executive order on immigration as a "travel ban" in his response to the terrorist attack in London June 3. The president's remarks contradicted his administration's assurances during court battles that the directive was not a travel ban.
On June 4, Trump took to social media to assert that the London terrorist attack, which killed seven people, vindicated his controversial executive order on travel, CNN reports.
"We need to be smart, vigilant and tough," Trump tweeted out. "We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!"
On June 5, the president took to social media again, doubling down on his use of the term, according to PolitiFact.
"People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!" Trump tweeted out.
The president then accused the Justice Department of softening his original executive order on immigration.
"The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version… should ask for an expedited hearing of the watered down Travel Ban before the Supreme Court -- & seek much tougher version!" Trump tweeted.
On Jan. 27, Trump signed an executive order prohibiting U.S. admittance of refugees, as well as citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries. The directive was stalled in federal courts, with judges ruling that it was a discriminatory travel ban.
On March 6, Trump signed a revised executive action that relaxed several of the original directive's provisions. The softened executive order was again successfully challenged. On May 25, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a nationwide block on the directive, ruling that the order was meant to be discriminatory.
On June 4, the DOJ filed three requests for the Supreme Court to overturn the federal courts' rulings on Trump's executive orders, The New York Times reports.
Throughout the legal battles over both orders, the Trump administration maintained that neither constituted a travel ban.
On Jan. 31, White House press secretary Sean Spicer blasted assertions that Trump's original order was a travel ban.
"First of all, it's not a travel ban… When we use words like 'travel ban,' that misrepresents what it is," Spicer said, according to the White House.
On May 28, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly asserted that the directive was not a ban because it was temporary.
"It's the travel pause," Kelly told Fox News on May 28.
Trump's latest tweets were swiftly blasted by attorney George Conway, the husband of White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, according to Politico.
"These tweets may make some ppl feel better, but they certainly won't help OSG get 5 votes in [the Supreme Court], which is what actually matters," Conway tweeted out. "Sad."