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President Donald Trump cited the deadly terrorist attack in Egypt to renew his calls for construction of a wall along the southern U.S. border and a travel ban aimed at blocking citizens of several Muslim-majority nations.
“Will be calling the President of Egypt in a short while to discuss the tragic terrorist attack, with so much loss of life,’’ Trump said Friday on Twitter. “We have to get TOUGHER AND SMARTER than ever before, and we will. Need the WALL, need the BAN! God bless the people of Egypt.’’
Trump spoke with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi by phone to express his condolences for the terrorist attack at a mosque in Egypt’s restive northern Sinai, according to the White House.
“Trump condemned the attack and reiterated that the United States will continue to stand with Egypt in the face of terrorism,” the White House said in a readout of the call. Trump said the international community must increase efforts to combat terrorist ideology, the White House said.
Trump’s travel ban –– which covers people from Chad, Iran, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Venezuela, North Korea and Yemen — has been partially blocked by the courts, and his campaign promise of a border wall hasn’t advanced in Congress. Funding for the wall could emerge as a major sticking point in efforts to pass a spending bill before Dec. 8 in time to avert a government shutdown.
Democrats in Congress have objected to the idea of constructing a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and some Republicans also have said that a wall isn’t the best way to combat illegal immigration.
At least 235 people were killed when militants armed with guns and explosives stormed a crowded mosque in Egypt on Friday. The attack was the deadliest in the country in recent memory.
©2017 Bloomberg L.P.