Trump says his proposed ban is necessary to protect Americans from terrorist attacks.
Trump says his proposed ban is necessary to protect Americans from terrorist attacks.

US President Donald Trump urged his administration to seek a tougher version of his controversial travel ban proposal on Monday following a weekend attack in London.

In a series of early morning tweets, Trump also pressed for an expedited judicial review by the nation's top court.

"The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original travel ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C.," Trump wrote in a tweet, referring to the US Supreme Court.

He also tweeted:

Last week, Trump's legal team asked the nation's top court to allow his controversial March 6 executive order to take effect immediately despite being blocked by lower courts.

The order blocks citizens of six predominantly-Muslim countries — including Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — from entering the US.

The Supreme Court rarely grants emergency requests.

Trump has said his proposed ban, a centerpiece of his 2016 presidential campaign, is necessary to protect Americans from terrorist attacks.

Critics have assailed the ban as discriminatory and that his reasoning for it is flawed.

US Senator Ben Cardin, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who opposes the ban, said on Monday Trump's tweets on the issue "clearly shows his intent" and his disdain for the judicial branch.

"The courts have ruled, and the courts said this abused the executive powers. His lawyers tried to justify it by saying it wasn't a travel ban, that it was just extreme vetting," Cardin told CNN.

'Courts slow and political'

Trump also tweeted on Monday that even as legal wrangling over the ban continues, his administration was implementing tougher vetting of would-be visitors to the US, adding, "The courts are slow and political!"

Last week, his administration rolled out new policies for those seeking a US visa, asking for the social media handles they have used over the last five years and biographical information going back 15 years.

Trump issued his initial travel ban by executive order in January.

It banned entry to nationals from seven countries for 90 days and suspended the nation's refugee program for 120 days.

But that measure was quickly halted by the courts.

The administration said the travel ban was needed so it could evaluate existing screening protocols and set new ones.

A revised executive order in March aimed to address concerns raised by the federal judges.

It deleted Iraq from the list and removed an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees.

The order however was widely criticised, including by human rights activists and US states led by Democrats.

In his tweets, Trump insisted on calling the measure a "travel ban."

"People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!" he said.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies