Priebus Defends Swift Action to Bar Refugees

January 29, 2017 Updated: January 29, 2017

The White House chief of staff says President Donald Trump acted early on in his term to impose a travel ban on refugees to block “people who want to do bad things to America.”

Reince Priebus (ryns PREE’-bus) says there’s nothing to apologize for after Friday’s executive order drew widespread protests. A court order has temporarily barred the U.S. from deporting certain people.

Trump is temporarily barring refugees and citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S.

Priebus tells NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the action “doesn’t affect green card holders moving forward” — the subject of legal challenges.

Scores were detained Saturday upon arrival at U.S. airports, spurring the judge’s order.

Priebus says officials were using “discretionary authority” to ask “a few more questions” at U.S. airports.

Kellyanne Conway, campaign manager for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, shakes hands during a campaign rally,  in Charlotte, N.C., on Oct. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
Kellyanne Conway, campaign manager for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, shakes hands during a campaign rally, in Charlotte, N.C., on Oct. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Another top adviser to President Trump says a federal judge’s emergency order “really doesn’t affect” his efforts to temporarily bar refugees and citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S.

Kellyanne Conway says on “Fox News Sunday” that a federal judge’s late Saturday emergency order temporarily barring the U.S. from deporting people from nations subject to Trump’s travel ban “really doesn’t affect the executive order at all.”

Conway says Trump’s order is about “preventing, not detaining” and says that only a very small percentage of travers have been impacted.

Conway says that it’s a “small price to pay” to keep the American public safe.