President-elect Donald Trump emerged from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., on Wednesday afternoon to briefly address questions from reporters about this week’s deadly attacks in Europe. And Trump appeared to stand by his plan for both a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States and the creation of a registry of Muslims who live here.
Trump was asked whether Monday’s violence in Germany and Turkey had caused him to “rethink or reevaluate” his plan to create a Muslim registry or a ban on Muslim immigration.
“You know my plans,” Trump replied. “All along, I’ve been proven to be right — 100 percent correct. What’s happening is disgraceful.”
Following the 2015 terror attacks in Paris, Trump called for a temporary ban on all Muslims entering the United States, a database tracking American Muslims, and expanded surveillance of “certain” mosques. But following sharp criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, he appeared to soften his stance, saying the proposals were “just a suggestion until we find out what’s going on.”
In June, after the deadly mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Trump said the profiling of U.S. Muslims might be part of his counterterrorism plan.
Members of his transition team have since stated that they intend to suspend immigration from “regions where it cannot be safely processed or vetted” and impose “extreme vetting” on immigrants who are allowed to enter the United States.
Some Trump aides and advisers have suggested that the proposed database of the U.S. Muslim population will not in fact be created, but the proposal for the ban remains on the Trump campaign website and it’s unclear which statements reflect the incoming administration’s current thinking.
Following Monday’s truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin, Trump issued a statement suggesting ISIS had carried out the attack as part of its continued “slaughter” of Christians in “their global jihad.”
But on Wednesday, Trump appeared to be unaware of his own on-paper assertion that Christians were the target.
“Who said that?” Trump said.
“I believe you said it in a press release,” one of the pool reporters replied. “I’m wondering how this might affect relations with Muslims.”
“It’s an attack on humanity,” Trump replied. “That’s what it is. An attack on humanity, and it’s got to be stopped.”