WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Friday said he’s considering issuing a new executive order to replace his contested travel ban on Syrian refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations, a day after a federal appeals court kept that order on hold.
Asked on a flight to Florida with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe if he would issue a new executive order, Trump told reporters, “It very well could be. We need speed for reasons of security, so it very well could be.”
Trump repeated his prediction he would prevail in the legal challenge to his Jan. 27 executive order, saying, “We will win that battle.”
But he said his lawyers would wait until next week — “perhaps Monday or Tuesday” — to respond to the 3-0 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday that upheld a lower court’s stay of the order.
Amid reports he won’t immediately appeal to the Supreme Court, Trump said, “We also have a lot of other options, including just filing a brand new order.”
Asked what revisions he might make to his executive order, Trump said, “New security measures. We have very, very strong vetting.”
That appellate court ruling, and Trump’s response, overshadowed the visit by Abe.
Trump and Abe met at the White House in the Oval Office and over lunch to discuss trade and security in Asia. In the afternoon they left for Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Fla., for a round of golf Saturday and more talks.
Unlike the bumpy encounters with leaders of Mexico, Britain and Australia, Trump and Abe expressed warmth for each other, hugging upon Abe’s arrival. They promised to make the relationship between the countries even stronger.
“We are committed to the security of Japan and all areas under its administrative control,” Trump said. He cited the nuclear threat from North Korea and alluded to Japan’s territorial dispute with China over uninhabited islands in the South China Sea.
“On the economy, we will seek a trading relationship that is free, fair and reciprocal,” said Trump, who withdrew from the 13-nation Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement that Abe supported.
Abe said the two countries should create “free and fair common set of rules” for trade. “That was the purpose of TPP and that importance has not changed,” he said.
But Trump has chafed at the legal process blocking his executive order, a security measure that barred visitors from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days; all refugees for 120 days, and Syrian refugees indefinitely.
He tweeted “SEE YOU IN COURT” moments after the 9th Circuit ruled Thursday. On Friday morning, Trump tweeted again, calling the ruling a “disgraceful decision.”
At the joint news conference with Abe, Trump said, “We’ll be doing something very rapidly having to do with the additional security for our country. You’ll be seeing that sometime next week.”
Trump said he feels “totally confident” he’ll protect Americans. He said he has learned as president for the past three weeks, “There are tremendous threats to our country.”
Also Friday, the government of Mexico warned Mexicans living in the United States that they face “the most severe implementation of immigration control measures.”
Mexico issued the notice after U.S. authorities on Thursday deported Garcia de Rayos, a mother of two children born in Arizona, for being in the country illegally, based on her 2008 conviction for having a fake Social Security card to get a job.