Trump warns senators ‘looking to start World War III’

President Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpKoch-backed group launches six-figure ad buy against Heitkamp Anti-abortion Dem wins primary fight Lipinski holds slim lead in tough Illinois primary fight MORE defended his executive order on immigration and refugee policy Sunday afternoon in two tweets, posted at around the same time the White House released a statement from the president.

The statement stressed the importance of keeping the country safe and denied that the order amounts to a Muslim ban. But the tweets were a more direct response to criticism from Sens. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump congratulated Putin after his national security team told him not to: report Trump faces backlash after congratulating Putin on election win McCain rips Trump's congratulatory call to Putin as an insult to Russian people MORE (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSteyer brings his push to impeach Trump to town halls across the nation Trump formally sends Pompeo nomination to Senate GOP leaders to Trump: Leave Mueller alone MORE (R-S.C.), two outspoken Republicans.

“The joint statement of former presidential candidates John McCain & Lindsey Graham is wrong - they are sadly weak on immigration,” Trump said.

“The two ... Senators should focus their energies on ISIS, illegal immigration and border security instead of always looking to start World War III.”

Earlier Sunday, in a joint statement, McCain and Graham said the executive order “sends a signal, intended or not, that America does not want Muslims coming into our country. That is why we fear this executive order may do more to help terrorist recruitment than improve our security."

Trump on Friday signed an executive order calling for a 90-day ban on nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries entering the United States. The order also includes a 120-day halt on admitting refugees and an indefinite pause on admitting refugees from Syria.