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Obama backs supporters upset with Trump travel ban

By
Doug G. Ware
Protesters rally at Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday to speak out against President Donald Trump's new executive order to temporary ban U.S. travel for people from seven countries. Former President Barack Obama said Monday he supports the protests. Photo by Christine Chew/UPI
Protesters rally at Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday to speak out against President Donald Trump's new executive order to temporary ban U.S. travel for people from seven countries. Former President Barack Obama said Monday he supports the protests. Photo by Christine Chew/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Just days after he left the White House, former President Barack Obama on Monday expressed disappointment with President Donald Trump's order for a temporary ban on U.S. travel for citizens of several Muslim-populated nations.

Through a spokesman, Obama said he supported the thousands of protesters who hit the streets after Trump's executive order Friday.

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"President Obama is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country," representative Kevin Lewis said in a statement. "In his final speech as president, he spoke about the important role of citizen[s] and how all Americans have a responsibility to be the guardians of our democracy."

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Trump's order placed a temporary ban on travel to the United States from seven countries -- Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia -- over national security concerns.

Trump said the order is not anti-Muslim, but anti-terrorism.

"This is not about religion -- this is about terror and keeping our country safe," the president said.

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Sunday, he also said the move is not entirely unlike one Obama himself made in 2011 regarding travelers from Iraq.

Obama, though, disputed that claim -- saying his order subjected Iraqi travelers to increased security checks, but did not ban the issuing of visas.

"President [Obama] fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion," Lewis said.

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