President Donald Trump signed an executive action Thursday that restricts travel from countries with ongoing investigations into Russia’s alleged involvement in the 2016 election.
The move, which applies to U.S. citizens and green card holders, was hailed by Trump and his allies as a victory for American national security, but critics say it will further damage the country’s image abroad.
The executive order, which temporarily blocks entry to the U.K., France, Germany, Japan, Canada and Australia, applies to all nationals of seven countries: Syria, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Venezuela and Turkey.
The countries have been under investigation by the FBI for possible links to Russia, which was the source of hacks on Democratic officials during the 2016 campaign.
It has been the subject of an ongoing investigation by U.N. and U.A.E. investigators, and U,S.
officials have said the investigation is not over.
Trump, who spoke in Washington with British Prime Minister Theresa May in a bid to improve ties, called the executive order a “preemptive strike” to ensure the U,T.
and A.E.’s security.
“This is not about Russia,” Trump said.
“It is about the United States.
It is about our national security.”
The White House said that in a statement Trump “is using his authority as commander in chief to further the interests of the American people, and not just the interests at play here, but the interests around the world.”
The president also said the executive action will allow him to “restore the rule of law and a free and fair presidential election.”
Trump’s order does not apply to any visitors to the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany or Japan.
It only applies to people with an American passport, a green card or a visa issued under the Visa Waiver Program, which allows for visas for citizens of the seven countries to enter the United Nations, the European Union, Japan and the U.,T.
The order also applies to individuals from the seven nations with diplomatic or consular ties.
The White,Seal and Gate of the United State was among the U-shaped buildings in the center of Washington that are now covered with red and white U. S. flags and portraits of U.T. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
There was a heavy police presence on the street outside the White House, and protesters outside the building chanted “Black Lives Matter.”
The protests came days after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, was held, and a number of cities across the country have seen violent protests in response to the events.