Trump warns senators ‘looking to start World War III’

President Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpConservatives express concern over House GOP immigration bill Poll: McSally holds 14-point lead in Arizona GOP Senate primary Trump defends Nielsen amid criticism over family separations 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 McCainOvernight Defense: States pull National Guard troops over family separation policy | Senators question pick for Afghan commander | US leaves UN Human Rights Council 13 GOP senators ask administration to pause separation of immigrant families McCain, Coons: Trump should withdraw controversial refugee nominee MORE (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamOvernight Health Care — Presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges — Trump officials move to expand non-ObamaCare health plans | 'Zero tolerance' policy stirs fears in health community | New ObamaCare repeal plan McCain, Coons: Trump should withdraw controversial refugee nominee GOP senators drafting legislation to keep immigrant families together 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.”

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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.