- The Washington Times - Friday, February 10, 2017

A Marine Corps veteran who supports President Donald Trump’s travel ban says he never imagined that a video he made on the subject would be seen over 44 million times.

Steven Gern, 42, posted a message on Facebook Feb. 1 in support of a travel ban that would, in part, keep individuals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the U.S. for 90 days. His commentary on Iraqi locals, given while in the Middle East, quickly garnered millions of Facebook views before the contractor he works for extracted him for safety reasons.

“I never thought in a million years that this would go viral, and happen over a simple conversation with my team members,” Mr. Gern told Fox News on Friday. “There are a lot of unknowns right now and what we don’t need is to continue to flood the United States with people from countries that are in such bad states when it comes to terrorism — we can’t have them come in until they are properly vetted.”

The veteran’s original video details a conversation he had with Iraqis regarding what would happen if he walked around town. He was told that “locals” — not ISIS terrorists or members of Iranian militias — would kill him within an hour.

“This is boots on the ground — this is what’s actually happening — I know firsthand,” the veteran added. “People are being naive. They need to understand there is a reason we have processes and policies in place to protect Americans.”

Mr. Trump’s administration may decide to re-write its travel ban in the near future, given a decision on Thursday by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The judges upheld a ruling by a lower court in Seattle enacted last week.

“We are going to do whatever is necessary to keep our country safe,” Mr.  Trump said Friday during a White House news conference.

Mr. Gern is scheduled for an exclusive interview with Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity tonight at 10 p.m. EST.

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