President Trump on Monday tried to dismiss public opinion surveys showing opposition to his travel ban as “fake news,” insisting that there is popular support for his executive order temporarily prohibiting the entry of all refugees as well as travelers from seven majority-Muslim nations.
Trump tweeted at 7:01 a.m.: “Any negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election. Sorry, people want border security and extreme vetting.”
The president followed that up six minutes later with a second tweet: “I call my own shots, largely based on an accumulation of data, and everyone knows it. Some FAKE NEWS media, in order to marginalize, lies!”
The context of Trump's second tweet is unclear, but it may have been aimed at the suggestion, advanced in a “Saturday Night Live” sketch last weekend, that chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon is as powerful as Trump — if not more so — in running the federal government.
Trump sent his tweets from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., where he has been spending the long weekend golfing and socializing with family and friends.
The president may have been reacting to commentary on cable news morning shows about polling showing a majority of Americans oppose the travel ban. For instance, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” discussed a CNN/ORC poll, released last Friday, which shows 53 percent of Americans oppose the executive order and 47 percent support it.
Meanwhile, the executive order has been frozen by a legal challenge. A Justice Department response is expected later Monday.