A controversial call to ban all Muslim immigration into the US disappeared from President Donald Trump's campaign website Monday, shortly after a reporter asked about it in a White House press briefing.
The proposed ban was outlined in a Dec. 7, 2015, statement on the website that Trump used throughout his presidential campaign. It called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on.”
Trump later read the statement at a campaign rally in South Carolina.
Trump speaks at a rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa last year.
John Locher / AP
The proposed “Muslim ban” roiled the campaign season, winning Trump both supporters and immense criticism.
Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
But Monday, the statement on the ban was quietly taken down. It's removal happened shortly after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked about the ban during a briefing. Spicer responded that he wasn't aware of what was on the campaign statement and that “you'd have to ask them.”
“I know how he talked about this from the first day of the administration,” Spicer said, adding a moment later that “we've been very consistent since the first day of this administration on this.”
Since taking office, Trump has signed two travel bans that were both quickly halted in federal courts. The bans aimed to block travel from Muslim-majority nations, though Trump's administration has avoided explicitly calling the executive orders “Muslim bans” as he did during the campaign.
Spicer also insisted in January that Trump’s order blocking travel was not a “travel ban” at all, but the president himself later tweeted about a “ban.”
Nevertheless, a judge that issued a retraining order stopping Trump's second immigration order did so on the grounds that its purpose was “at the very least, 'secondary to a religious objective' of temporarily suspending the entry of Muslims.”
The fight over the travel ban is ongoing and on Monday lawyers argued the case before the 4th Circuit Court.