President Trump's own words have once again come back to haunt attempts to implement his policies. On Monday, a federal appeals court debated whether comments Trump has made about Muslims before and after his election should be considered when ruling on the latest version of his travel ban, NBC San Diego reports. Some of the 13 judges on the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals panel asked Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall about the "total shutdown" of Muslims entering the US that Trump promised on the campaign trail, the Guardian reports. Wall denied that the ban on travelers from six Muslim-majority countries had anything to do with religion.
"This is not a Muslim ban," Wall said of Trump's executive order. "Its text doesn't have ... anything to do with religion." Wall said the order should be judged on the text alone, and Justice Paul Niemeyer, one of three Republican appointees on the panel, appeared to agree, wondering if opponents also want Trump's college speeches to be taken into consideration, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Just before the hearing began, Trump's December 2015 "shutdown" promise was removed from his campaign website. It's not clear when the Virginia-based court will rule on the travel ban, which was halted in March by judges in Hawaii and Maryland. (Trump words were also used against him in a sanctuary cities case.)