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Barack Obama criticises Donald Trump over immigration policies

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By PTI Updated: Jan 31, 2017 8:58 pm
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PTI
Washington, Jan 31: Breaking his silence over his successor Donald Trump’s immigration policies, former US president Barack Obama today said he disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion.
“With regard to comparisons to President Obama’s foreign policy decisions, as we’ve heard before the President fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion,” Obama’s spokesman Kevin Lewis said in a statement.
This is the first press statement issued by the office of Barack Obama after he left the office 10 days ago.
Lewis said Obama is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country.
“In his final office speech as President. He spoke about the important role of citizen and how all Americans have a responsibility to be the guardians of our democracy not just during an election but every day,” he said.
“Citizens exercising their constitutional right to assemble, organise and have their voices heard by their elected official is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake,” Lewis said.
Trump’s executive order bars citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for the next 90 days, suspends the admission of all refugees for 120 days and indefinitely suspends the Syrian refugee programme.
Former presidents walk a fine line between staying political engaged and avoiding knocking their successor, CNN said.
President George W Bush, for example, remained markedly silent on politics during Obama’s eight years in office.
But Obama’s relationship with Trump is different, and his statement made clear that the former president will stay engaged and outspoken on political action, it said.
Meanwhile, defending Trump’s immigration policies, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the US President is going to be very proactive when it comes to safety and security of the country and would not wait for things to happen.
“We are gonna put the safety of Americans first. We’re not gonna wait and react. The president’s gonna be very proactive with protecting this country. We’re not gonna wait until we get attacked and figure out how we can make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Spicer told reporters at his daily news conference.
Trump, he said, is going do everything in his power to stop every threat that the US is facing.
“How do we get ahead of threats? How do we keep America ahead of the curb when it comes to people who want to do us harm? And that’s what the president has done, is he’s made sure that every way possible we get down the path of securing this country, putting America’s safety and security first and foremost, bar none,” Spicer said.
Responding to a question, Spicer said no one knows where the next threat is coming.
“You don’t know when the next attack’s coming. And so the best you can do is to get ahead of it because if you wait, you’re gonna be reacting. And what I think I want to be clear on is the president’s not gonna wait,” he said.
“He’s going to make sure he does everything in his power when he can to protect the homeland and its people. That’s it.
And so getting ahead of threats is the key. Not waiting until they happen, not saying hey once it happens, how do we react to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he added.
“I think what I want to be clear about is that since becoming president, he’s continued to take steps through executive order and otherwise to make sure that this country is as safe as it can be and that we’re ahead of every threat,” the presidential spokesman said.

Trump taking steps to defeat ISIS: White House

Washington, Jan 31: US President Donald Trump is taking decisive steps to “defeat and destroy” ISIS, the White House said today, terming the destruction of the dreaded terror group’s capabilities a “humanitarian imperative”.
“The United States must take decisive action, and the President is taking the necessary steps,” the White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at his daily news conference.
Last week, Trump has signed an executive order asking his national security team to prepare an action plan within 30 days to defeat ISIS.
This comprehensive strategy and plan must include a recommendation to changes to any rules of engagement and other policy restrictions that exceed the requirements of international law regarding ISIS; public diplomacy, information operations and cyber strategies to isolate and delegitimatise ISIS and its radical Islamist ideology, he said.
It also includes identification of new coalition partners in the fight against ISIS and policies to empower coalition partners to fight ISIS and its affiliates; mechanisms to cut off ISIS financial support, including financial transfers, money laundering, oil revenue, human trafficking, the sales of looted art, historical artifacts and other revenue sources; and a detailed strategy to robustly fund the plan, Spicer said.
“This presidential memorandum is a profound statement that the President’s clear objective is to defeat and destroy ISIS and that we’re going to do it systematically,” said the White House Press Secretary.
“This is not only a necessary step for America’s national security, it is also a humanitarian imperative. If ISIS is left in power, the threat it poses only grows,” he said.
“We know it has attempted to develop chemical weapons capabilities. It maintains a goal of recruiting home-grown terrorists and its attacks against our allies and partners continue to mount,” Spicer said.

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By PTI Updated: Jan 31, 2017 8:58:41 pm