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What Did Donald Trump Say About Registering Muslims?

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Sometime Donald Trump would be better served by being quiet. Because his inability to self-edit his stream of consciousness leads to those cringe-worthy moments when he says things that are scary if he believes them and equally scary if he doesn’t believe them.

On Tuesday, Trump was on Sean Hannity’s show and he had this to offer about Islamic terrorism:

GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump says the United States has “absolutely no choice” but to close down mosques where “some bad things are happening.”

“Nobody wants to say this and nobody wants to shut down religious institutions or anything, but you know, you understand it,” Trump said on Fox News’s “Hannity” on Tuesday. “A lot of people understand it. We’re going to have no choice.”

 Trump said on Monday he would “strongly consider” closing mosques if elected in response to the terrorist attacks in France last Friday that killed at least 129 people and injured hundreds more.

Pressed to explain his tougher stance on the issue, the GOP primary front-runner told Fox News’s Sean Hannity that the security situation was changing “a lot faster than anybody understands.”

Thursday, YahooNews ran an interview with Trump. In it was this nugget:

But Trump doesn’t buy it. He also has concerns about the larger Muslim community here in the U.S., he said.

Yahoo News asked Trump whether his push for increased surveillance of American Muslims could include warrantless searches. He suggested he would consider a series of drastic measures.

“We’re going to have to do things that we never did before. And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule,” Trump said. “And certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy. And so we’re going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.”

Yahoo News asked Trump whether this level of tracking might require registering Muslims in a database or giving them a form of special identification that noted their religion. He wouldn’t rule it out.

“We’re going to have to — we’re going to have to look at a lot of things very closely,” Trump said when presented with the idea. “We’re going to have to look at the mosques. We’re going to have to look very, very carefully.”

Trump was at a campaign event and was asked about the Yahoo interview:

Donald J. Trump, who earlier in the week said he was open to requiring Muslims in the United States to register in a database, said on Thursday night that he “would certainly implement that — absolutely.”

Mr. Trump was asked about the issue by an NBC News reporter and pressed on whether all Muslims in the country would be forced to register. “They have to be,” he said. “They have to be.’’

When asked how a system of registering Muslims would be carried out — whether, for instance, mosques would be where people could register — Mr. Trump said: “Different places. You sign up at different places. But it’s all about management. Our country has no management.’’

Asked later, as he signed autographs, how such a database would be different from Jews having to register in Nazi Germany, Mr. Trump repeatedly said, “You tell me,” until he stopped responding to the question.

To put in mildly, this is insane and the fact that anyone in public life could push the idea that registering people by religion or them carry special identification is outrageous. We can all agree that a much better job needs to be done of screening immigrants and  political correctness in dealing with Islamic terrorism has reached the point where investigations into Islamic terrorism can be career ending decisions for law enforcement agents and, at the same time, agree that closing mosques or registering Americans by religion is not the way we operate in America.

What possible type of identification would a Muslim carry in Trump’s America? Because it seems to me that unless the identification is visible, so as to provide early warning, that the entire exercise is useless. Do we actually think that Muslims who are prone to terrorism are going to allow themselves to be enrolled in a database? How about Public Law 94-521 which forbids the collection of anyone’s religious affiliation by the federal government? Would Congress overturn it? Or would and Executive Order be sufficient? Once Trump leaves office, what would prevent Chelsea Clinton from using the same system to identify Evangelical  or Catholic Christians?

As an aside, Rush’s apologia for Trump today is completely off target. This story did not begin with an off-the-wall question in an on-the-fly interview. You can search Google day-by-day for this week and see how the story developed. (FoxNews has a fair interpretation of events) If this was the result of a misquote, Trump has had many, many chances to correct the record. He hasn’t. In fact, he was given an easy out in the interview that Rush criticizes:

Yahoo News asked Trump whether his push for increased surveillance of American Muslims could include warrantless searches. He suggested he would consider a series of drastic measures.

Yahoo News asked Trump whether this level of tracking might require registering Muslims in a database or giving them a form of special identification that noted their religion. He wouldn’t rule it out.

Rather that saying the obvious, “You know, that is a batsh** crazy idea and should be anathema to any American even were it legal which it isn’t” he plays to the racist fringe of his supporters and tries to be cute by saying he wouldn’t rule it out. And now he’s issuing a non-denial:

Right. But Trump didn’t call him on the idea, he went along with it. This is just one of the chances he was given to correct the record. Instead, he has doubled down when given the opportunity.

The man isn’t dumb. He’s heard of the Constitution. However, this kind of mindless pandering to not the lowest common denominator but to the lowest possible denominator has become something of a hallmark of Trump’s campaign. He probably thinks he can turn this into another Trump-versus-the-media food fight and brazen his way out of it. And he’s probably right. This time. But eventually he’s going to go to the well once too often. One way or another it needs to stop. If Trump can’t start thinking before he speaks, GOP voters need to show him the door before he pulls this stunt as our nominee and saddles us with Hillary Clinton.

The post What Did Donald Trump Say About Registering Muslims? appeared first on RedState.


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