Original Muslim ban erased from Trump campaign website

Sean Spicer said moments before that the president's intent was 'clear.'

ByABC News
May 8, 2017, 4:12 PM

— -- A controversial statement posted on President Trump’s campaign website in 2015 calling for a “shutdown” of Muslim immigration was redirected to a blank page Monday afternoon, just minutes after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer dismissed questions on the rhetoric surrounding his now-stalled travel ban executive orders.

The web page hosting the December 2015 statement, included a quote from then-candidate Trump reading, "Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States," and was still live ahead of the White House press briefing Monday.

ABC News' Cecilia Vega asked Spicer about the page, citing repeated instances where Trump's own past comments have been used against the administration in its ongoing court battles over the travel ban.

“I think the intent of the travel ban was very clear," said Spicer. "It was something that the president made very clear in filings that we have filed why he did it, the motives for doing it and was very clear when he spoke about it from the beginning."

Those motives were called into question by a federal court judge in Hawaii in March after plaintiffs in a case protesting the travel ban pointed "to public statements by the President and his advisers regarding the implementation of a 'Muslim ban,' which Plaintiffs contend is the tacit and illegitimate motivation underlying the Executive Order," according to the court's ruling.

In regard to the statement listed on the campaign website, Spicer he wasn't "aware of what's on the campaign website," saying only that the administration has been consistent in talking about it as a "travel ban that's in this country's national security interest."

In February, Spicer repeatedly insisted that the order was not a "travel ban," even as Trump used the phrase to describe the action.

"It's not a Muslim ban. It's not a travel ban," he said at the time. "It's a vetting system to keep American safe."

Following the briefing, the text of Trump's statement, entitled "Donald J. Trump Statement On Preventing Muslim Immigration" no longer appeared on the campaign website.

The Trump campaign did not immediately return ABC News’ request for comment on the change.

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