US President Donald Trump called Monday for an “expedited” hearing of his travel ban, currently before the Supreme Court, saying the Justice Department should seek a “much tougher version.”

In a series of early morning tweets, the president also said the United States was already “extreme vetting” travellers coming into the country for safety reasons.

The president, who has stepped up his calls for implementing the travel ban following the weekend attacks in London, appeared to blame the Department of Justice, run by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, for moving forward with a “watered down” version of the policy.

“The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C.,” Trump, referring to the U.S. Supreme Court, wrote in a series of tweets on the issue.

“The Justice Dept. should ask for an expedited hearing of the watered down Travel Ban before the Supreme Court – & seek much tougher version!” he wrote.

Both travel orders, aimed at temporarily halting entry to the US from a half-dozen Muslim-majority countries, have been blocked by the lower courts.

The March directive narrowed the scope of the original order, which was hastily unveiled during Trump’s first week in office.

The White House initially attempted to clarify Trump’s use of “travel ban” when the executive order was first announced in January.

During his tweetstorm Monday morning, the president also took a shot at the courts system, calling them “slow and political.”

Trump earlier caused outrage on both sides of the Atlantic after he lashed out at London Mayor Sadiq Khan in the wake of a terrorist assault in the British capital which left seven people dead.

In a series of tweets, Trump poured scorn on Khan’s attempt to reassure the public after three assailants smashed a van into pedestrians on London Bridge then attacked revellers with knives.

“At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’” the US president said in one message.

Khan, in an interview with the BBC shortly after the Saturday night attack, had asked Londoners and visitors to be calm and vigilant.

“You will see an increased police presence today, including armed officers and uniformed officers. There is no reason to be alarmed by this,” he said.

Leading figures in the US and the UK lined up to dismiss the president’s remarks, with Washington’s acting ambassador to London coming out in support of Khan.

“I commend the strong leadership of the @MayorofLondon as he leads the city forward after this heinous attack,” Lew Lukens said on the US embassy’s Twitter account.

He also praised the “extraordinary” response from Londoners and emergency services.

Trump initially said the attack showed it was time to “stop being politically correct and get down to the business of security for our people.”

Regarding the leader’s plug for his contested travel ban – which has been blocked by the courts –Cecillia Wang, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, tweeted “We need to be outraged when the president exploits a terrible violent crime to push his discriminatory and illegal policy.”

Agence France-Presse, Reuters. Business Insider

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