Trump: My administration 'working very hard' to add citizenship question to census

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Official testifies that Bolton had 'one-on-one meeting' with Trump over Ukraine aid Louisiana governor wins re-election MORE said Thursday his administration is working "very hard" on the Fourth of July in a last-ditch effort to find a way to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census after a federal judge gave the administration a Friday deadline

"So important for our Country that the very simple and basic 'Are you a Citizen of the United States?' question be allowed to be asked in the 2020 Census. Department of Commerce and the Department of Justice are working very hard on this, even on the 4th of July!" Trump tweeted.

The Supreme Court last week overturned the Trump administration's push to add the question.

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A lawyer with the Department of Justice (DOJ) said Wednesday that agency officials had been ordered to figure out if there is a "legally available path" for the administration to still add the question.

The department's announcement followed a tweet from Trump that stirred confusion. The president said reports that the Commerce Department dropped its request are "FAKE!"

Judge George Hazel, an Obama appointee overseeing the federal lawsuit in Maryland, later announced he gave the Trump administration until 2 p.m. on Friday to say it is no longer pursuing adding the question.

“I don't know how many federal judges have Twitter accounts, but I happen to be one of them, and I follow the president, and so I saw a tweet that directly contradicted the position” the DOJ had given the day before, Hazel said, according to a transcript of teleconference held in federal court in Maryland. 

“I think I'm actually being really reasonable here and just saying I need a final answer by Friday at 2 p.m. or we're going forward,” the judge said.