Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani says Donald Trump asked him how to legally implement a "Muslim ban."
"When he first announced it, he said 'Muslim ban," Rudy Giuliani told Fox News' Jeanine Pirro. "He called me up, he said, 'Put a commission together, show me the right way to do it legally.'"
There's no other evidence, besides Giuliani's word, that Trump made that call. But in the interview, Giuliani — a staunch Trump supporter throughout the campaign — defended Trump's recent executive order, saying it had nothing to do with banning Muslims specifically.
In the interview, Guiliani claimed he put together a team that focused on possibly banning nations that pose the biggest threat to U.S. national security — not Muslim-majority nations.
"We focused on, instead of religion, danger — the areas of the world that create danger for us," Giuliani said.
Trump's executive order, signed Friday, temporarily restricts immigration and travel from seven Muslim-majority countries and bans the U.S. from accepting refugees for 120 days.
Titled "Protection of the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States," it bars citizens of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Libya for 90 days. It also halts all Syrian refugees indefinitely.
No citizen from any of the seven countries on the list has carried out a major terrorist attack in the U.S. in the past 15 years. And the two largest terror attacks in the U.S. were done by people with connections to countries not on the list.
More notably, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are not included in the executive order. Giuliani claims that's because Saudi leadership is more understanding of the global terrorism threat than it was a decade ago, but he said he was troubled Pakistan was not included.
Despite Trump's assurance the government was prepared to start and enforce the ban, confusion erupted after the order went into effect.
Officials weren't sure which countries were included in the ban. An estimated 100 to 200 people were detained immediately after the order went into affect, including dual citizens, green card holders and young U.S. citizens with foreign-born parents.
A federal judge temporarily blocked part of the order Saturday, following protests at several airports and the filing of a lawsuit by two Iraqi men who had valid visas but were detained in New York.