President Trump says 'there's nothing nice about hunting terrorists'

Sharon Marris, News Reporter

President Donald Trump has said “there is nothing nice about searching for terrorists” as he hailed the implementation of a temporary travel ban on people from seven mainly Muslim countries.

On Monday, he defended the ban by claiming that would-be terrorists would "rush into our country" before it was implemented if he had given advance notice.

He said: "There is nothing nice about searching for terrorists before they can enter the country. This was a big part of my campaign. Study the world!

"If the ban were announced with a one-week notice, the 'bad' would rush into our country during that week. A lot of bad 'dudes' out there."

The President tweeted that "only 109 people" stopped at airports had been detained and said any problems had been triggered by a computer outage.

He said: "Only 109 people out of 325,000 were detained and held for questioning. Big problems at airports were caused by Delta computer outage.

"Secretary Kelly said that all is going well with very few problems. Make America safe again."

A Trump administration official said the ban had been implemented "seamlessly and with extraordinary professionalism".

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On Friday, Mr Trump signed an executive order suspending travel to the US from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Libya, saying it was to protect Americans from terrorism.

But there has been criticism from some top Republicans, anger from the countries affected, widespread protests and confusion at US airports.

Judges in at least five American states have also blocked federal authorities from enforcing the order.

Thousands of academics, including 13 Nobel Laureates, signed a petition protesting Mr Trump's order.

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Senior Republican Senator John McCain said the President's order had been "confusing", adding fears that the order would "become a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism".

Senator Bob Corker, Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a Trump supporter, said the order had been poorly implemented, especially for green card holders.

He said the administration should "immediately make appropriate revisions".

New York police estimated 10,000 people protested in Battery Park, just across across the river from the Statue of Liberty - a symbol of freedom and immigration.

Thousands also gathered outside the White House, while others demonstrated at airports around the country.

The Arab League chief voiced "deep concern" while the Iraqi parliament's foreign affairs committee said in a statement: "Iraq is in the front line of the war on terrorism... and it is unfair that the Iraqis are treated in this way."

Iraq's parliament voted to "retaliate" following demands that US citizens should be expelled along with a reciprocal travel ban on Americans.

European countries also criticised the order, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the French and Swiss foreign ministers.

But Mr Trump defended the ban, saying: "The seven countries named in the executive order are the same countries previously identified by the Obama administration as sources of terror.

"To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting. This is not about religion - this is about terror and keeping our country safe."

Read more:

:: Who is affected by Donald Trump's immigration order?
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:: Trump's travel ban leaves passengers stranded
:: In pictures: Protests over Trump's travel ban
:: S howbiz world criticises Trump travel ban
:: Executive powers: What Trump can and can't do