President Trump slams judge’s halt of travel ban

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Donald Trump

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Saturday again attacked a sitting federal judge whose decision he disliked, criticizing Judge James Robart, a George W. Bush appointee who temporarily stopped his controversial travel ban Friday night.

“The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned,” the President tweeted.

The tweet was one of several Trump issued Saturday morning in which he defended his executive order on immigration, which bars citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US for 90 days, all refugees for 120 days and indefinitely halts refugees from Syria.

“When a country is no longer able to say who can, and who cannot , come in & out, especially for reasons of safety &.security – big trouble,” Trump tweeted.

“Interesting that certain Middle-Eastern countries agree with the ban. They know if certain people are allowed in it’s death & destruction,” he tweeted, though he didn’t name any countries.

It is highly unusual for a sitting President to publicly criticize a federal judge, but during the campaign, Trump memorably railed against Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who was overseeing a lawsuit against Trump University. Trump said Curiel, who was born in Indiana, was unable to fairly preside over the lawsuit because of his “Mexican heritage” and Trump’s plan to build a wall along the Mexican border and take a hard stance on immigration.

Robart’s order on Friday was a significant setback to Trump’s ban and set up the nation for a second straight weekend of confusion about the policy’s legality.

The White House said Friday the Department of Justice will challenge the decision. In a statement, White House press secretary Sean Spicer initially called Robart’s order “outrageous” before quickly issuing another statement that dropped that word.

Robart has presided in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington state since 2004. He assumed senior status in 2016.