In a major scoop said to put a "stake in the heart of the Muslim ban," MSNBC's Rachel Maddow reported Thursday evening on a new leaked Department of Homeland Security (DHS) analysis which essentially shreds the Trump administration's rationale for banning travel from seven Muslim-majority nations.
The document, prepared by DHS' internal intelligence agency, the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, concludes that the majority of foreign-born, U.S.-based violent extremists were radicalized several years after their entry into the U.S..
Following the "unbelievably chaotic rollout," as Maddow put it, of President Donald Trump's travel ban—which was subsequently and roundly rejected by the U.S. court system—the White House has repeatedly sworn that a replacement plan was in the works, with an eventual release planned for Wednesday.
"Well now, it's Thursday," Maddow quipped. "Where's the Muslim ban?"
The Washington Post's Greg Sargent on Friday suggested that the leaked analysis could be part of the "real reason for the delay," rather than the stated reason of not wanting to sully the warm reception received by the president after his joint-session speech Tuesday evening.
"The Trump administration can't solve the problem that has always bedeviled this policy, which is that there isn't any credible national security rationale for it," he wrote. "Unlike on the campaign trail, when you're governing, you actually have to have justification for what you're proposing, or you often run into trouble."
Similarly, Maddow observed that "they really do have a problem here," pointing to the document's key finding, which states that "most foreign-born, U.S.-based violent extremists are likely radicalized several years after their entry to the United States, limiting the ability of screening and vetting officials to prevent their entry because of national security concerns."
"The national security justification for this whole ban—this setting up of extreme vetting—is bull-pucky," Maddow said. "There's nothing they can set up at the border to tell you years down the road who might become...a radical and violent person years from now."
This latest leak follows the release of another DHS analysis last week that similarly undermined the Trump administration's claim that people traveling from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, and Somalia pose a severe threat to the United States.
That document, obtained by the Associated Press, concluded that "citizenship is an 'unlikely indicator' of terrorism threats to the United States and that few people from the countries Trump listed in his travel ban have carried out attacks or been involved in terrorism-related activities in the U.S. since Syria's civil war started in 2011," as AP reported.
Taken together, the two documents throw cold water on most of the administration's stated justification for the pending executive order.
Watch the segment from "The Rachel Maddow Show":