Even the manner in which green card holders were taken out of the ban is odd and cowardly, like a thief trying to skip out the back door in the night.
The changes to the travel ban come after widespread controversy over the policy. The memo from the White House counsel appeared to be a face-saving way for the White House to redraft the executive order without incurring the embarrassment of actually having Trump sign a new executive order that eliminated the impact on green card holders.
Experts said the decision to effectively redraft an executive order via a memo from the White House counsel was highly unusual. Typically, the president personally approves any changes to such orders, which are sequentially numbered, published in the Federal Register and have the force of law in the executive branch.
"The usual thing is that the executive order gets modified in some way or amended, maybe," said Daniel Gitterman, author of "Calling the Shots: The President, Executive Orders, and Public Policy." "The additional caveat from White House legal counsel on how to interpret that is unusual. There's not a huge record of those types of things."
"My interpretation is [Trump] certainly did not want to admit he was wrong in any way and that, rather than go and vacate or amend the initial order, they decided to have counsel make a clarifying explanation," added Gitterman, a fellow in public policy at the University of North Carolina.
So that’s just plain strange. And interesting because this position is the same one that DHS initially had until Steve Bannon overruled them.
Steve Bannon, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, personally overruled a decision by the Department of Homeland Security not to include green card holders in the president’s temporary ban on travel from Muslim countries.
“The White House overruled that guidance overnight, according to officials familiar with the rollout,” the CNN report said. “That order came from the President’s inner circle, led by Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon. Their decision held that, on a case by case basis, DHS could allow green card holders to enter the US.”
The decision led Mother Jones columnist Kevin Drum to conclude that the chaos caused by Trump’s executive order had been part of the White House plan.
“Whatever else he is, Steve Bannon is a smart guy, and he had to know that this would produce turmoil at airports around the country and widespread condemnation from the press,” Drum wrote. “In cases like this, the smart money is usually on incompetence, not malice. But this looks more like deliberate malice to me. Bannon wanted turmoil and condemnation. He wanted this executive order to get as much publicity as possible. He wanted the ACLU involved. He thinks this will be a PR win.”
So Bannon overruled DHS only to be later overruled himself by the White House counsels office in a memo instead of an amendment or replaced of the initial tragically flawed E.O. Who exactly is running the store over there?
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