Trump says appeals court decision on travel ban was political

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US President Donald Trump meets with senators to discuss his nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, DC, on Feb 9, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - President Donald Trump on Thursday (Feb 10) called the appellate court ruling that upheld the suspension of his order restricting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries a "political decision," and vowed his administration would ultimately prevail.

"We'll see them in court," Mr Trump told reporters who had gathered outside his press secretary's office. "It's a political decision."

Mr Trump said he did not view the ruling as a major setback for his White House. "This is just a decision that came down, but we're going to win the case," he said.

Mr Trump's Jan 27 executive order barred entry for citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days and imposed a 120-day halt on all refugees, except refugees from Syria who are barred indefinitely.

The states of Washington and Minnesota challenged the order, which had sparked protests and chaos at US and overseas airports on the weekend after it was issued. The two states argued that Mr Trump's ban violated constitutional protections against religious discrimination. On Feb 3, US District Judge James Robart imposed a temporary ban on the restrictions.

The Justice Department filed an emergency motion for a stay on the suspension but the three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that the Trump administration failed to offer "any evidence" that national security concerns justified the ban he launched with an executive order on Jan 27.

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