Attorney General Chin questions President Trump in person about travel ban

Hawaii’s attorney general questioned President Donald Trump about his travel ban while in Washington, D.C. Tuesday.

Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin took part in a question-and-answer session at the White House with state attorneys general from across the country.

His office was among many that filed a lawsuit challenging the ban’s constitutionality.

It was Chin’s understanding that a new executive order might be released this week relating to a ban on travel from seven Muslim-majority nations. He asked the president to explain his thinking behind the executive order and what he wanted to accomplish.

“We had concerns that the order didn’t really comply with the U.S. Constitution,” Chin said, “and that’s why we followed with a lawsuit on behalf of the state.

“President Trump asked if my state had sued him and I said we did,” Chin added. “That’s where he went on to say that his goal was to make America safe again and that this executive order was very much in favor of extreme vetting. He knew that his proposal and his goals might not sit well with everyone, but national security was his most important priority.”

While Chin said the security and safety of the country is something we all care about, “the whole point of filing a lawsuit on behalf of Hawaii was to tell the president that it’s great if you want to protect national security. That’s your job, but the most important thing is that whatever you do, you need to make sure it complies with the Constitution.

“Frankly, an executive order like the one that came out a couple of weeks ago that discriminates against people based on their national origin and their religion, that’s not going to cut it,” Chin said. “That does not fall in line with our Constitution.”

After the Q&A — which Vice President Mike Pence and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus also attended — the vice president spoke with Chin and told him that the administration cared about Hawaii’s concerns.

Chin said his office will wait and see what the president’s next executive order will be and respond accordingly.

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