Ex-spy head: Trump ban ‘a recruiting tool’ for terror

Former Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert ClapperUS intelligence community 'struggled' to brief Trump in 2016, CIA review shows An unquestioning press promotes Rep. Adam Schiff's book based on Russia fiction Hillicon Valley — Justice Department takes on Uber MORE says President TrumpDonald TrumpClyburn says he's worried about losing House, 'losing this democracy' Sinema reignites 2024 primary chatter amid filibuster fight  Why not a Manchin-DeSantis ticket for 2024? MORE’s temporary ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations will help terrorist groups attract new members.

“I do worry about those countries in question, with whom we do deal, and who are reliable partners,” he said Thursday on CNN’s “The Situation Room."

“I also worry about this creating a recruiting tool for extremists. They will point to this as proof that there is in a fact a war on all Muslims.”

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Clapper said he had confidence in America’s existing vetting process for immigrants and refugees, which Trump has said is inadequate.

“I don’t believe we in the [intelligence community] were aware of any extraordinary threats that we weren’t already dealing with,” he said.

“And [we] were using, I think, some very rigorous vetting practices, which we constantly improved upon. And we’ve improved that process as we’ve gone.”

A San Francisco-based appeals court on Thursday evening rejected the Trump administration’s request to resume implementation of the president’s executive action on immigrants and refugees.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that a nationwide restraining order against Trump’s temporary ban may continue while a federal judge considers a lawsuit over the policy.

The administration can now ask the Supreme Court to immediately intervene, which legal experts think is likely, or wait until a ruling on the preliminary injunction order.

The Supreme Court is currently shorthanded with eight justices, meaning that a potential split decision would uphold the lower court’s Thursday ruling.

U.S. District Judge James Robart temporarily froze Trump’s controversial order last week, with hundreds of travelers from the blocked countries racing into the U.S. during the pause.

Trump’s executive order imposed a 90-day ban on people from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from American soil.

The measure also halted general refugee admissions for 120 days, indefinitely stopping Syrian refugees.

Critics have blasted Trump’s directive as unconstitutional and biased against Muslims, while the president has countered it protects national security from radical Islamic terrorism.