Soon after Donald Trump crowed “we will never, ever stand for religious discrimination,” at a White House ceremony Thursday, New York’s attorney general pointed out the hypocrisy of the president’s travel bans targeting Muslims.
Trump spoke after signing an executive order promoting “religious liberty,” touting the edict as taking “historic steps to protect religious liberty in the United States.” He added: “We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced anymore.”
Minutes later, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman trolled Trump with the president’s two travel bans, both stalled in court. “Actually, we sued you for exactly that — and won,” Schneiderman tweeted.
New York was among the states that filed suit against Trump’s travel bans. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld a lower court ruling halting implementation of the ban in February, noting the states raised “significant constitutional questions” about religious discrimination against Muslims.
Trump amended his travel ban, but courts in Hawaii and Virginia blocked that one in March, noting that Trump’s own statements about Muslims suggest the ban is likely unconstitutional.
Trump’s order on Thursday, which claims to boost religious freedom, also seeks to cripple an IRS regulation that prevents churches and other tax-exempt groups from endorsing political candidates.
“We are giving our churches their voices back. We are giving them back in the highest form,” Trump said.
Schneiderman could turn out to be a major headache for Trump. Shortly after his election, Trump agreed to a $25 million payout to settle two class-action lawsuits and a civil suit filed by Schneiderman accusing Trump University of fraud. In March, Schneiderman hired public-corruption expert Howard Master from the office of former Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to look into a variety of issues.
Schneiderman also tweeted Thursday that if Trumpcare is passed into law, he’ll sue because it’s “unconstitutional in several aspects,” including targeting women’s health care coverage.