President Trump vowed Friday to take “additional security” steps next week to keep the country safe while his administration fights in court to reinstate the controversial travel ban for residents of seven mostly Muslim countries – a case he voiced confidence the U.S. government will win.
“I have no doubt that we’ll win that particular case,” Trump said at the White House, during a press conference alongside visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Without going into detail, Trump previewed additional measures he apparently plans to announce next week.
“We’ll be doing something very rapidly having to do with additional security for our country,” Trump said.
After the administration's latest court defeat late Thursday, some have urged Trump to simply rescind and rewrite the executive order at the center of the case. The controversial measure suspended the U.S. refugee program as well as travel and immigration for residents of seven countries in the Middle East and Africa.
Trump gave no indication at Friday’s press conference whether he was considering this step, saying only that they’d continue to work through the court process – and do “whatever is necessary” to protect the country.
The Justice Department is weighing its options, which also include appealing to a broader panel of judges or the Supreme Court.
The decision Thursday was made by a panel of three judges with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals based in San Francisco.
In their unanimous decision, the judges refused to reinstate Trump's immigration order and rejected the government’s position that such presidential decisions on immigration policy are “unreviewable.”
“There is no precedent to support this claimed unreviewability, which runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy,” the judges wrote. “…Although our jurisprudence has long counseled deference to the political branches on matters of immigration and national security, neither the Supreme Court nor our court has ever held that courts lack the authority to review executive action in those arenas for compliance with the Constitution.”
The decision does not end the court fight, but marked another setback in the president’s bid to suspend certain programs to examine how the U.S. can better vet those seeking admission to the country.
Trump and Abe left Washington on Air Force One Friday afternoon for a trip to Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida. Trump and Abe are scheduled to play golf in south Florida on Saturday.
Earlier Friday, Abe touted the role of Japanese businesses in supporting thousands of jobs in the U.S. Speaking at the Chamber of Commerce, Abe said that "a whopping majority" of the Japanese cars running on American roads are manufactured in the U.S. by American workers.
Trump has criticized Toyota Motor Corp. for planning to build an assembly plant in Mexico and complained that Japanese consumers don't buy enough U.S.-made cars. Abe said it was an honor to be meeting Trump less than a month after his inauguration, showing the "unwavering alliance" between the two countries.
Trump also affirmed the U.S.-Japan alliance in his opening remarks Friday, calling it the “cornerstone of peace and stability” in the Pacific region. He stressed the importance of investing “heavily” in their defensive capabilities.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.