President Trump Defends Travel Ban: ‘Any Negative Polls Are Fake News’

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President Donald Trump said in an early-morning tweet that any polls that showed Americans were not in favor of his travel ban for seven majority-Muslim countries were “fake news.”

“Any negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election. Sorry, people want border security and extreme vetting,” the president tweeted.

President Trump is an avid consumer of news, though he often uses his powerful Twitter platform to attack the news media. The president referenced the campaign in his Monday morning tweet because polling and pundits predicted the election would be an easy victory for Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton. That’s clearly not what happened.

Trump’s Monday tweet focuses on polling around his controversial executive order that temporarily bars refugees from resettling in the U.S. and blocks travel from seven countries, including Iraq, Iran and Syria. Recent polling on the order has shown that the majority of Americans have a negative view of the president’s ban.

A poll from CBS News found that 51% of Americans disapprove of the ban, while 45% approve. The poll found opinions were split along party lines — while 85% of Republicans were in favor of the order, 85% of Democrats were against it — but 57% of all Americans believe the ban on refugees and certain travelers goes against the country’s founding principles. Another poll by CNN/ORC found that 53% of Americans disapprove of the ban while 47% approve of it. A poll by Reuters conducted last week had slightly different results. Reuters found that 49% of Americans agreed with the order and 41% disagreed with it; about a third of those surveyed said they believe the order made them safer.

On Twitter, Trump is not backing down. In a follow-up tweet on Monday, Trump said the “fake news media” spreads “lies” in order to sow divisions.

“I call my own shots, largely based on an accumulation of data, and everyone knows it,” Trump tweeted. “Some FAKE NEWS media, in order to marginalize, lies!”

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