Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is currently acting as an aide to Donald Trump, revealed on Fox News Saturday night the president tasked him with creating a "Muslim ban" that could work legally.
"When he first announced it, he said, 'Muslim ban,'" Giuliani told Fox News host Jeanine Pirro. "He called me up, he said 'put a commission together, show me the right way to do it, legally.'"
Facing intense criticism, Trump's executive order bans refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. On Saturday night, Judge Ann M. Donnelly of Federal District Court in Brooklyn blocked part of the president's action, ruling that forcing refugees and others to return to their homes could cause them "irreparable harm."
But Giuliani said he and his team of experts, which he said included former federal Judge Michael Mukasey, New York Rep. Peter King and Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, placed the emphasis on "danger," and not religion, noting the Muslim-majority countries were targeted because they are "the areas of the world that create danger for us."
"Which is a factual basis, not a religious basis," he said. "Perfectly legal, perfectly sensible. That's what the ban is based on."
Pirro was surprised that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia weren't included in Trump's order. One of the attackers involved in the deadly San Bernardino attack in 2015 was born in Pakistan, and came to the United States through Saudi Arabia.
Giuliani was also the mayor of New York City during the 9/11 attacks, where 15 of the 19 assailants were citizens of Saudi Arabia.
"Saudi Arabia is going through a massive change," Giuliani responded. "I think the kingdom, particularly under the new prince, has a real understanding that we're dealing with a massive radicalization terrorist problem. It is not the old Saudi Arabia."
Giuliani expressed concerns about Pakistan's omission from Trump's order.
"I would have to know more about it," he said. "It troubles me a little bit like it troubles you."