White House spokesman Sean Spicer says President Donald Trump respects the judicial branch as the administration prepares for an appeals court hearing over its temporary travel ban. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Days after President Donald Trump described the opinion of a federal judge in Seattle who had suspended his executive action on immigration as "ridiculous," a White House spokesman said the commander-in-chief respects the judicial branch as the administration prepares for an appeals court hearing over the temporary travel ban. "There's no question the president respects the judicial branch in its ruling," spokesman Sean Spicer said, "(but) the president has the discretion to do what's necessary to keep this country safe." The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco is to hear arguments about whether to restore the ban from Justice Department lawyers and opposing attorneys for the states of Minnesota and Washington at 3 p.m. PST (2300 GMT). Trump's Jan. 27 executive order barred entry for citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days and imposed a 120-day halt on all refugees. A federal judge in Seattle, responding to a challenge by Washington state, suspended the order last Friday, opening a window for people from the affected countries to enter the United States, pending the appeals process. Trump on Twitter said, "The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!" Trump, a Republican who took office on Jan. 20, has defended the ban as necessary to protect the country from the threat of terrorism, and has condemned court rulings against it.