CLAIM: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) claimed that President Donald Trump “instituted, as his first act, a ‘Muslim ban’.”
VERDICT: FALSE. Trump’s travel ban was not a “Muslim ban” and has since been upheld by the Supreme Court.
In attacking Trump for ostensibly not condemning white supremacists — a false claim that Vice President Mike Pence crushed with his response — Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris repeated Joe Biden’s false claim about a “Muslim ban.”
As Breitbart News explained in a previous fact check:
[T]here is no “Muslim ban,” and there never was. What Democrats called a “Muslim ban” was an executive order issued on January 27, 2017, that barred tourism and immigration from seven countries previously identified by the Obama-Biden administration as being particularly vulnerable to terrorism, partly because their internal record-keeping was substandard. These seven nations — Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen — happened to be Muslim-majority countries, but there was no blanket ban on Muslims from other Middle Eastern countries or large Muslim countries like Indonesia.
Later, the executive order was updated, or superseded, by subsequent orders. A second version dropped Iraq from the list; a third version added North Korea and Venezuela, two countries without substantial Muslim populations whatsoever. The Supreme Court tossed legal challenges to the travel ban in October 2017. Several more countries — including non-Muslim ones — were added in January 2020. The “Muslim ban” exists only in the minds of Democrats and left-wing journalists.
In December 2015, then-candidate Trump did suggest “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” He made that suggestion after radical Islamic terrorists launched brutal terror attacks in Paris, France, that November — with at least one hiding among Syrian refugees.
Trump later dropped that idea. But it is important to note that even Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) considered a “pause” in Syrian refugees, given the security vulnerabilities and the possibility that fighters from the so-called “Islamic State” might infiltrate into the country.
Pence focused his response on debunking the Charlottesville “very fine people” hoax.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.