Hawaii AG prepared for Twitter heat over travel ban suit
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Hawaii AG prepared for Twitter heat over travel ban suit

  • STEVEN TONTHAT / STONTHAT@STARADVERTISER.COM

    State Attorney General Doug Chin addressed the media at a press conference on Hawaii’s lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban.

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A Twitter battle between state Attorney General Doug Chin and President Donald Trump?

Maybe not.

But Chin did say today that his office is prepared to take some social media heat from the president now that the state has filed its suit trying to block the revised travel ban.

Asked at a press conference about the possibility of an online fracas with the notoriously Twitter-happy chief executive, Chin said some have tried to caution him that he shouldn’t “poke the lion” or do something to try “to provoke the bully.”

But Chin said the matter is too important to Hawaii to remain silent.

“It’s not the type of issue that we can just say, ‘Well, we’ll just let him have his way. We’re not even going to try to check it or balance it out,’” he said.

On Wednesday U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson granted the state’s request to move forward with the case, setting a hearing for March 15, the day before the ban is scheduled to go into effect.

In addition to the amended complaint, the state on Wednesday filed a motion for a temporary restraining order against the ban, becoming the first state to intervene in court against the revised executive order, which blocks individuals from six predominantly Muslim countries if they lack valid U.S. visas.

Chin said he really doesn’t expect Trump to attack him personally. He said Trump was actually “pretty collegial” when he spoke to Congress last week.

But if he does come after him on Twitter?

“I don’t have my own personal Twitter account,” Chin said.

And while the Hawaii Attorney General’s Office does have a Twitter account, Chin said, he doesn’t think the office would even respond.

Chin added: “That’s not the reason I’m fighting for this. It’s not a personality thing to me. It’s more the principle of what his administration is trying to accomplish.”

Chin, who’s national profile has gotten a boost with the court challenge, denied that he’s aspiring for higher office.

“I’ve been in public service for 15 years now. It’s not what I think about. I also don’t think I’m doing anything different from what a lot of my predecessors would do in this situation. This is just the timing of where we’re at.”

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