On Wednesday, during his closing arguments to the U.S. Supreme Court, Francisco claimed Trump had adopted a more moderate stance since his campaign by deciding to ban travelers from some Muslim-majority nations rather than all Muslims, as he had proposed previously.
“[Trump] made it crystal clear on September 25th that he had no intention of imposing the Muslim ban,” Francisco argued. “He has made crystal clear that Muslims in this country are great Americans, and there are many, many Muslims countries who love this country, and he has praised Islam as one of the great countries of the world.”
That’s right. Francisco called Islam, the world’s fastest-growing religion, “one of the great countries of the world.” You can hear his verbal blunder below.
Meanwhile, opponents of the ban felt the goof perfectly represented the Trump administration’s tone-deaf approach toward Islam.
Abed Ayoub, a policy director at the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee who was in the courtroom when Francisco made the comment, said he wasn’t shocked by the hiccup.
“It’s not surprising,” Ayoub told the New York Daily News. “The way this administration, the way this President has spoken about Muslim countries has been very problematic and that goes all the way back to the campaign.”
Also not surprising was the reaction Francisco’s comments inspired on Twitter.
Verbal blunders notwithstanding, it appears that the conservative members of the court signaled they are likely to uphold the ban.