Chris Christie criticizes "haphazard" rollout of Trump travel ban


Gov. Chris Christie, R-New Jersey, talks with CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Feb. 5, 2017.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Sunday criticized the rollout of President Donald Trump’s executive order barring travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, saying he believes Mr. Trump is right “on the substance” but that it “should have been done better.”

“I think anyone who looks at this knows it could have been and should have been done better,” he told CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

He argued that the reason Mr. Trump’s critics have been so successful is not because he’s wrong “on the substance,” but because the order wasn’t rolled out properly.

“The reason his opponents are able to attack him -- and I believe unfairly -- on the substance is because it was implemented in such a haphazard way in that first weekend,” he said.

Still, Christie said he believes the Seattle-based federal judge who halted the executive order is “wrong on this one,” and that the actual text of the order is “much, much better” than Mr. Trump’s original proposal for a Muslim ban back in late 2015.

“I would make it even more tailored if I were advising the president on this directly,” he said. “But the president has moved an incredible distance from a Muslim ban to where he is now … the policy is much, much better than where the president began during the campaign.”

He said he knows Mr. Trump’s “heart,” and that Mr. Trump has “absolutely no -- no hate in his heart for Muslim Americans.”

“This is what happens when things are not explained the right way from the beginning and are not implemented in a way that respects the process and is very careful about it,” he said. “And that’s why I said earlier in the week that the president was not well-served by this. Now this means that he has to go out and the administration needs to go out and make his point of view clear.”

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    Emily Schultheis

    Emily Schultheis is a reporter/editor for CBS News Digital.