Protesters hold up signs protesting President Donald Trumps immigration policies at JFK Airport in New York City on Saturday. White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said Sunday that the executive order barring entry from select countries "doesn't include green-card holders going forward." Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 29 (UPI) -- White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said Sunday that President Donald Trump's executive order barring entry from select countries "doesn't include green-card holders going forward."
Priebus, speaking during an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press, responded to a question by Chuck Todd on whether the White House overruled a recommendation from the Department of Homeland Security stating people with green cards should be allowed to enter the United States.
"We didn't overrule the Department of Homeland Security. As far as green-card holders moving forward, it doesn't affect them," Priebus first said.
But when pressed whether it impacts green-card holders at all, Priebus said: "Well, of course it does. If you're traveling back and forth, you're going to be subjected to further screening."
He said a Customs and Border Patrol agent has "discretionary authority" whether to question citizens coming from the countries in question: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
"I would suspect that if you're an American citizen traveling back and forth to Libya you're likely to be subjected to further questioning when you come into an airport," he said.
Priebus also said other countries may be included in the ban.
"Perhaps other countries needed to be added to an executive order going forward -- but in order to do this in a way that was expeditious, in a way that would pass muster quickly, we used the seven countries" already identified by Congress, he said.
Priebus said the order was rolled out quickly because "this is all done for the protection of Americans, and waiting another three days, waiting another three weeks is something that we don't want to get wrong."
"President Trump is not willing to get this wrong, which is why he wants to move forward quickly and protect Americans," Priebus added.
A federal judge issued an emergency stay for refugees, preventing those detained at American airports from being sent back to one of the seven banned countries.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., posted on Twitter that he has spoken with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, adding Kelly: "Assures me the court order will be complied with. All those still in airports expected to be admitted."