Trump Defends Short Term Ban Of Muslims Entering U.S., Denies Bigotry Accusations

Trump Defends Short Term Ban Of Muslims
Donald Trump


Dec. 8, 2015 at 9:09 PM
NEW YORK, Dec. 8 (UPI) — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Tuesday refused to back away from remarks he made asking for the “total and complete shutdown” of all Muslims entering the United States — a stance that has drawn near universal condemnation from the GOP and Democrats.In an exclusive interview with Barbara Walters on ABC’s World News Tonight Tuesday evening, Trump was given the opportunity to clarify the remarks — and was asked whether he regretted proposing the ban.

“Not at all, we have to do the right thing” he said. “I have people that I have tremendous relationships with, they are Muslim, and Barbara they agree with me 100 percent.”

Trump emphasized that his proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States is only short term, and that it is necessary in an age when terrorism seems omnipresent.

“They knocked down the World Trade Center. They tried doing it twice,” Trump continued. “There are people who have tremendously bad intentions — and we have to be tough, we have to be smart and we have to be vigilant.”

Trump called for the ban in a statement Monday, saying those of the Islamic faith should be denied entry to the United States “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on” with terrorism.

“We don’t know what’s happening,” he added Tuesday. “We have a president that doesn’t have a clue. We need toughness and smartness and we have to do it quickly.”

Trump also said if he is elected president, he will be extremely tough on terror groups like the Islamic State and al Qaeda.

“I’m the worst thing that’s ever happened to ISIS,” he said.

When asked by Walters if he is bigoted, Trump was emphatic in his response.

“Not at all. [I’m] probably the least [bigoted] of anybody you’ve ever met,” he said. “I’m a person that has common sense. I’m a smart person. I know how to run things. I know how to make America great again. This is about making America great again.”

When asked how long he thinks Muslims should be banned from the nation, Trump said the prohibition could be very short — depending on how soon the U.S. government can “get its act together.”

One day after making the remarks, Trump found himself largely isolated in his belief that the United States needs to keep out all Muslims to maintain national security, in light of recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Southern California.

The campaign of Democratic contender Hillary Clinton on Tuesday accused Trump of wanting to “write racism into our law books.”

“His Islamaphobia doesn’t reflect our nation’s values — it goes far enough to damage our country’s reputation and could even threaten our national security,” Clinton campaign vice chair Huma Abedin, herself a Muslim, said.

Trump also found himself taking fire from those on the same side of the aisle.

“What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for and more importantly, it’s not what this country stands for,” Republican House speaker Paul Ryan said. “This is not conservatism.”

“Normally I do not comment about what’s going on in the presidential election,” he added. “I will take an exception today.”


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