In the latest moment of confusion for the new administration, chief of staff Reince Priebus said the administration was still considering an appeal to the Supreme Court after a lower court soundly rejected its request to reinstate the order. Priebus's statement came one hour after a White House official said it was not planning to challenge the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling upholding a temporary restraining order (TRO) blocking the ban, while Trump himself has said a new order on security could come next week.
Priebus told The Washington Post that "every single court option is on the table, including an appeal of the Ninth Circuit decision on the TRO to the Supreme Court.
In short, the situation remains fluid.
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What a difference a day makes.
Less than 24 hours after an angry Trump tweeted "SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!" in the aftermath of yesterday's adverse Appeals Court ruling...
SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2017
... the President has changed his mind and has decided not to see anyone in court - if only for the time being - because according to Reuters, his administration is not currently planning to appeal the temporary hold on his travel ban to the Supreme Court, a White House official said Friday according to multiple media sources.
The official noted, however, that the White House said it will forge ahead on the broader battle against a lawsuit challenging the executive order, if out of court.
Which means, that as per the steps we laid out last night, the administration will now prepare a brand new immigration order. Trump hinted as much earlier in the day when during his press conference with Abe, he said "We’ll be doing something very rapidly having to do with additional security for our country; you’ll be seeing that sometime next week," Trump said with Abe by his side. He offered no specifics.
He then added "we are going to keep our country safe," he said on Friday. "We are going to do whatever’s necessary to keep our country safe." He added he would continue to fight for the travel ban in courts, and that "ultimately, I have no doubt we will win that particular case."
Trump later told reporters aboard Air Force One that he would likely wait until next week to respond with legal action. “Perhaps Monday or Tuesday," he said. Trump earlier Friday hinted a new order could be in the works, but he declined to detail what it would look like.
And so, while his travel ban is held up in court, Trump said he is considering ordering his staff to draft a new executive order that will have an easier time clearing legal hurdles.
“We also have a lot of other options, including just filing a brand new order,” he told reporters on the presidential aircraft.
Trump indicated that no final decision has been made to write a new order or make tweaks to the existing one. “It very well could be,” when asked if he will issue a new order. “We need speed for reasons of security, so it very well could be." The president said a possible new action would stick by his core principle that refugees and travelers from countries should be subject to “extreme vetting.”
"New security measures,” he said when asked about potential revisions. “We have very, very strong vetting. I call it extreme vetting and we're going very strong on security. We are going to have people coming to our country that want to be here for good reason."
As a result, the most likely next step: Trump will issue a new executive order that explicitly omits green-card holders from the travel ban in an effort to head off legal challenges.