WASHINGTON: In a shocking statement, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said he would consider one man’s request that America “get rid of” Muslims.
At a town hall meeting in New Hampshire earlier this week, a man asked Trump, “We have training camps growing where they want to kill us. That’s my question, when can we get rid of them?”
“We’re going to be looking at a lot of different things. A lot of people are saying that, and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening out there. We’re going to be looking at that and plenty of other things,” Trump responded.
Trump had also agreed with the man when he had stated that Muslims were a problem in the US and that President Barack Obama was himself a Muslim and ‘not even American’.
“We have a problem in this country,” he began. “It’s called Muslims. We know our current president is one,” the man said.
“Right,” Trump responded.
“You know he’s not even American,” the man continued.
“We need this question, this is the first question,” Trump said with a laugh.
President Obama is a Christian and was born in Hawaii. He had also issued a certified long-form birth certificate in April 2011, showing he was born at Honolulu’s Kapiolani Hospital on August 4, 1961.
However, Trump has for years raised questions about Obama’s nationality and religion, claiming he was born in Kenya and was not eligible to hold presidential office.
Later, speaking to the Washington Post, Trump said his answers were more about defending Christians in the US because their ‘religious liberty is at stake’.
He further said that, “The media wants to make this issue about Obama. The bigger issue is that Obama is waging a war against Christians. Christians need support in this country.”
Trump’s statements are in stark contrast to the then Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s response, at a town hall in Minnesota in 2008, when a woman said that Obama was “an Arab” who couldn’t be trusted in the White House.
Seizing the microphone, McCain had replied, “No ma’am. He’s a decent family man citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that’s what this campaign’s all about.”