The call for a ban on Muslim immigrants to the U.S. posted on President Donald Trump's campaign website has been removed after a reporter questioned the White House on the matter.
ABC News reporter Cecilia Vega asked press secretary Sean Spicer about the text May 8, according to the Hill.
"If this White House is no longer calling this a Muslim ban, as the president did initially, why does the president's website still explicitly call for 'preventing Muslim immigration' and it says 'Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States'," Vega asked, according to the Hill.
Spicer acknowledged that Trump's campaign website did call for a Muslim ban, but maintained this was not the administration's aim.
"It's in this country's national security interest to make sure that people who are coming in here are coming in here with the right motives and reasons and that we're having a public safety aspect to making sure that we're protecting our people," he added.
The statements portion of the website is now bare.
"Minutes after we asked the WH why the President's campaign website still calls for a Muslim ban, it appears the statement was deleted," Vega tweeted.
Trump signed an executive order in January banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries from traveling to the U.S. After the order was struck down by a court ruling, the president signed a second order in March.
The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on the second order May 8. Besides halting the refugee program for 120 days, the order proposed banning travel for all immigrants from six Muslim-majority countries for 90 days.
Reuters reported that a key issue in the court's deliberations could be whether it agrees with the lower court's decision to take past statements by Trump about the need for a Muslim ban into account.
"This is not a Muslim ban," acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall told the court, Reuters reported.
However, Judge Robert King, a Democratic appointee, noted that Trump has never retracted previous statements calling for a Muslim ban. Wall countered that the court should not look beyond the text of the executive order, which makes no mention of a Muslim ban.
Judge Paul Niemeyer, a Republican appointee, appeared to side with the president.
"You have the judiciary supervising and assessing how the executive is carrying out his office," he said. "I just don't know where this stops."