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White House spokesman Sean Spicer says immigration ban 'small price to pay' for safety

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer
Getty Images
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Monday the Trump administration didn't telegraph its immigration ban beforehand because there was a brief period time to "ensure the people of the United States were safe."

In an interview on Monday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," following President Donald Trump's executive order restricting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, Spicer asked what would have happened if the U.S. didn't act and "somebody was killed?"

"Three hundred and twenty-five thousand people flew into this country from airports and 109 people were affected and slowed down in their travel. I understand that is an inconvenience but at the end of the day that is a small price to pay as opposed to somebody losing their life because a terrorist attack was admitted," Spicer told MSNBC.

Spicer did not say that a threat was imminent.

Late Friday, the Trump administration announced that it would temporarily bar entry to travelers from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen due to terrorism concerns.

A federal judge granted an emergency stay Saturday to bar deportation of people with valid visas who landed in the U.S., following chaos and detentions.

Shortly after Spicer's interview, Trump tweeted about people being detained, saying the big problems at airports were caused by a Delta Airl Lines computer outage.


Spicer also spoke about Trump's decision to give his chief strategist Steve Bannon a spot on the National Security Council.

"He brings to the table a much greater scope of the political landscape vis-a-vis the world — the geopolitical and national security affairs," he said.