The White House on Tuesday took aim at former President Trump after he vowed to impose an expanded travel ban on Muslim-majority countries and implement ideological screenings for immigrants in the wake of Hamas’s recent terrorist attacks against Israel.
“After the terrorist atrocities in Israel and after the heartbreaking murder of a 6 year old Palestinian American child this week — a 6 year old child — this is a moment when all leaders need to come together against hate; against Islamophobia, against antisemitism,” White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates said in a statement.
“It is revolting and dangerous to tear people apart right now with cruel poison that undermines our basic values as Americans,” Bates added. “And no one who praises Iran-backed terrorist groups has any credibility when it comes to protecting our national security from terrorist threats.”
Trump was in Iowa for campaign events Monday, where he addressed the violence playing out in the Middle East in the wake of Hamas terrorist attacks that left more than 1,000 Israelis dead and has sparked fears of a growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
Trump reiterated his intention to reimpose a travel ban that targeted several majority-Muslim countries that went into effect while he was in office after facing several court challenges. The ban was rescinded once President Biden took office.
“We aren’t bringing in anyone from Gaza or Syria or Somalia or Yemen, or Libya, or anywhere else that threatens our security,” Trump said in Iowa, adding that his administration would implement “strong ideological screening for all immigrants to the United States” and seek to bar those who “empathize with radical Islamic terrorists” from residing in the country.
Bates said Tuesday that Biden was “proud to rescind the hateful Muslim travel ban” put in place by Trump.
On the matter of ideological screenings, Bates said there is “strict national security vetting to determine whether individuals coming from anywhere in the world have ties to terrorist organizations.”
The White House and Biden’s reelection campaign have been quick to hit back at Trump, who is the front-runner for the GOP’s 2024 nomination, over his response to the violence in Israel.
Biden aides have seized on Trump’s comments that Hezbollah, a terrorist group, is “very smart” and the former president’s criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the wake of the terrorist attacks against the Jewish state earlier this month.