CNN’s Jake Tapper Challenges Trump’s Commitment to Religious Freedom: What About Muslim Travel Ban?

Journalist responds to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s praise of the president in the wake of attacks on American congregations

Last Updated: December 30, 2019 @ 10:49 AM

CNN’s Jake Tapper on Monday pushed back on President Donald Trump’s commitment to religious freedom, citing the administrations early efforts to implement a Muslim travel ban.

In the wake of weekend attacks on a New York Hanukkah celebration and a Texas church service, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted, “Grateful to @realDonaldTrump and @VP for their commitment to protect #religiousfreedom at home and abroad. Thankful for the work of @IRF_Ambassador carrying the mantle on these issues. The fight to secure a religiously free world is urgent, and the U.S. will continue to lead.”

In under five minutes, Tapper responded to Pompeo: “The president proposed banning Muslims from entering the country and then his administration worked to make a legal version of such an order. That’s not a commitment to protecting #religiousfreedom.”

Trump himself tweeted in response to the Saturday stabbing that took place in a rabbi’s New York home, calling it “horrific” and offering thoughts on behalf of himself and the first lady. “We must all come together to fight, confront, and eradicate the evil scourge of anti-Semitism,” he wrote Sunday.

Three died in the Sunday attack at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas, including the suspected shooter. CNN aired the church’s livestreamed service footage, which showed the moment the gunman opened fire and a church security guard returned fire. No one died during the Hanukkah celebration stabbing.

In 2017, Trump faced nationwide protests over an executive order banning visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries. He denied that the move was a “Muslim ban” and blamed the media. “To be clear this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting,” said Trump in a statement released by the White House at the time. “This is not about religion — this is about terror and keeping our country safe.”

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