“There’s no reason to apologize,” Trump said during a joint press conference with president of Nigeria when asked if he would apologize for his proposal for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims.”
“We have to have strong immigration laws to protect our country,” he continued.
Trump’s refusal to apologize for or withdraw his calls for banning all Muslims from entering the US has been cited in courts challenging the legality of his controversial travel ban.
The latest edition of Trump’s travel ban is now before the US Supreme Court, which last week heard oral arguments in the case. Several justices pressed the government on Trump’s anti-Muslim comments and his campaign pledge to ban Muslims.
The lead challenger is the state of Hawaii, which argues the ban violates federal immigration law and the constitutional prohibition on the government discriminating against a religion.
But government lawyers have argued that Trump was not president then, and that the travel ban is a security measure aimed at preventing terrorists from coming to the US.
Trump signed three versions of the travel ban last year in an attempt to boost the legality of the controversial order in the courts.
The president said Monday he did not believe an apology would change the course of the legal battle. “So I think if I apologize, wouldn’t make ten cents worth of difference to them. There’s nothing to apologize for.”
Instead, Trump continued to criticize America’s immigration laws, which he earlier described as “weak,” “pathetic” and “obsolete.”
“Our immigration laws in this country are a total disaster. They’re laughed at all over the world,” he said.