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Trump: 'Totally ridiculous' to have census without citizenship question

President TrumpDonald John TrumpPennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification Biden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Sunday shows preview: US health officials brace for post-holiday COVID-19 surge MORE on Wednesday defended his administration’s controversial decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

“I think it’s totally ridiculous that we would have a census without asking,” Trump said during an Oval Office meeting with the president of Poland.

His remarks came the same day the Justice Department announced that Trump had invoked executive privilege to block congressional investigators from viewing documents related to the administration's move to add the citizenship question.

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The decision to invoke privilege escalated the fight between the White House and the Democratic-controlled House.

The Oversight and Reform Committee is set to vote Wednesday afternoon on whether to hold Attorney General William BarrBill BarrNew DOJ rule could allow executions by electrocution, firing squad Clyburn: Biden falling short on naming Black figures to top posts Five federal inmates scheduled for execution before Inauguration Day MORE and Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossSupreme Court to hear arguments on Trump administration's attempt to exclude undocumented immigrants from census Central Asia is changing: the Biden administration should pay close attention Census Bureau can't meet Trump's deadline for data on undocumented immigrants: report MORE in contempt for failing to comply with congressional subpoenas for documents related to their census investigation.

Critics in Congress argue that adding a citizenship question could intimidate immigrants from participating and create an inaccurate population count. That could have major consequences when congressional district lines are redrawn, with opponents arguing it could benefit Republicans.

The administration has dismissed that argument, saying the question is intended to provide accurate information about the U.S. population.

A citizenship question has not been included in census questions for all U.S. households since 1950.