US president Donald Trump said his administration was preparing to add a ‘couple of countries’ to the controversial list of states whose citizens are subject to travel bans or severe restrictions on entry to the United States.
‘We are adding a couple of countries to it. We have to be safe. Our country has to be safe,’ he said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, adding that the names of the new countries would be announced ‘very shortly’.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that the administration planned to add seven countries including Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, and others in Africa and Asia.
It said the other nations being considered for new rules were Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Sudan and Tanzania.
The first package of travel bans and restrictions — targeting mainly Muslim majority countries — were announced shortly after Trump took office in January 2017 and outraged his critics.
Meanwhile, Trump said he would have loved to have met Swedish environment activist Greta Thunberg at Davos but added that she should not focus her anger on the United States.
‘I would have loved to have seen her,’ Trump told reporters before leaving the luxury Swiss resort, while claiming that countries other than the United States were the worst polluters and ‘Greta ought to focus on those places’.
Trump had launched an extraordinary attack on environmental campaigners in a speech to the World Economic Forum on Tuesday, saying they were ‘perennial prophets of doom’ and the ‘heirs of yesterday’s foolish fortune tellers’.
Thunberg sat quietly through the speech and was unrepentant in later remarks. ‘Our house is still on fire,’ she said.
Trump denied he thought global warming was a hoax, saying: ‘No not at all — I think aspects of it are.’
He said campaigners had put global warming ‘at a level that is unrealistic’ to the point where people cannot live their lives.
Also speaking at Davos, US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin defended the administration’s policies, saying its views had been misinterpreted.
‘The US administration believes in clean air and clean water. This is a very complicated issue. We support a clean environment we just think it can be done in a way that is pro-business,’ he said.
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