In a announcement on Saturday, Donald Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks revealed that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has decided to revise his ban on Muslims. According to a Washington Post report, Trump now only wants to ban Muslims from countries with heavy terrorism.
“I don’t want people coming in — I don’t want people coming in from certain countries,” Trump was quoted as saying. “I don’t want people coming in from the terror countries. You have terror countries! I don’t want them, unless they’re very, very strongly vetted.”
When asked to clarify what he meant by “terror countries,” he said “they’re pretty well-decided, all you have to do is look!”
Trump has previously called for an outright ban on all Muslims from entering the country, but apparently he has changed his stance. In December of last year, the business tycoon angered liberals and conservatives alike after suggesting barring all Muslims from entering the United States.
— NYC FOR TRUMP (@TRUMP_PREZ) June 12, 2016
“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” a campaign press release said.
The announcement came just days after the deadly mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, by suspected ISIS sympathizers Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, a married couple. The two opened fire at a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino on Dec. 2., 2015, killing 14 people and injuring 22 more.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2015
Following the shooting, Donald Trump proposed the immediate suspension of Muslim immigrants indefinitely.
“Great surveillance and vigilance must be adhered to,” said Trump in an statement provided to CNN. “We want to be very fair but too many bad things are happening and the percentage of true hatred is too great. People that are looking to destroy our country must be reported and turned in by the good people who love our country and want America to be great again.”
Trump recently said the Orlando gay club shooting — the country’s deadliest mass murder — is an attack on the ability of people to live their lives, to love whomever they want, and express their identity.
Hicks and National Finance Chairman Steven Mnuchin explained to reporters that Trump’s position on the issue hasn’t changed since his foreign policy speech in New Hampshire two weeks earlier.
“It is about terrorism and not about religion. It is about Muslims from countries that support terrorism,” Mnuchin said.
CNN wrote that Trump also indicated on Saturday that his ban is not ironclad and declined to answer directly in an interview regarding whether his ban would extend to all foreign Muslims.
“People coming from the terror states — and you know who I’m talking about when I talk about the terror states — we are going to be so vigilant you wouldn’t believe it and frankly a lot will be banned,” Trump said.
Meanwhile, it appears that Trump continues to generate friction within the Republican Party — which is not new — but now there is an exodus of Republicans who are leaving their party because of Trump. The latest to leave the GOP was Conservative columnist George Will and he told the Federalist Society Friday that he was no longer a Republican.
“This is not my party,” Will said during a speech at the a Washington, D.C., luncheon.
He cited House Speaker Paul Ryan’s endorsement of Trump as being one of the primary reasons for his exit. CBS News wrote that Will also predicted that Trump in the White House with “no opposition” from a Congress with a Republican majority could spell disaster. He says that scenario would be even worse than Hillary Clinton in the Oval Office with a Republican Congress.
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