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Donald Trump Says His Very Rich Muslim Friends Won’t Be Banned From The Country

31 Mar

In an MSBNC town hall on Wednesday night, Donald Trump said that a lot of people like him for his proposal to ban all Muslims from the country — but he also admitted that there may be some exceptions to the ban.

“I think banning until we figure out what’s going on is an important thing, and I take a lot of heat for it, and a lot of people like me for it to be honest with you,” Trump said when asked about the proposal.

“I have been called by more Muslims saying what you are doing is a great thing, not a bad thing,” he continued. “Believe it or not, I have a lot of friends that are Muslim, and they call me, and in most cases, they’re very rich Muslims.”

Pressed by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews whether Trump’s friends could even get into the country with a ban on Muslims, Trump conceded. “They’ll come in,” he said. “They’ll come in, and you’ll have exceptions.”

The news of exceptions is interesting, especially since Trump has previously claimed that the ban on Muslim immigration would even include those who are U.S. citizens that are currently living abroad. Last December, when asked by The Hill about whether his ban on Muslim immigration would include Muslim Americans currently out of the country, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks replied via email: “Mr. Trump says, ‘everyone.’

Despite the news of exceptions during the town hall on Wednesday, Trump still defended the plan to ban Muslims, suggesting that if Muslims were banned from the country, they might be more likely to fight ISIS. “I don’t know, maybe they’ll be more disposed to fight ISIS,” he told Matthews. “Maybe they’ll say, ‘We want to come back into America, we’ve got to solve this problem.’”

The news that there will be exceptions to Trump’s Muslim ban comes after a long list of offensive remarks the candidate has made about Muslims. During a Republican debate earlier this month, Trump said that “Islam hates us,” and after being asked whether his comment was referring to the world’s entire Muslim population of 1.6 billion people, Trump reaffirmed, “I mean a lot of them.” Last month, Trump claimed that killing Muslims with bullets dipped in pig blood would be an effective way to combat terrorism. He has also said that all Muslims in the country should be registered in a federal database and that all mosques in the country should be under surveillance and some should even be shut down entirely.

Trump has also made up stories about Muslims. Following the attacks in Brussels, Trump said Muslims were not reporting terrorists who they were aware of in their communities. “They are absolutely not reporting it, and that’s a big problem,” he said in a radio interview with ITV News’ “Good Morning Britain.”

Unfortunately, many of Trump’s remarks may be popular in the United States — and not just among Republicans. Two new polls released earlier this week revealed that a majority of Americans support a ban on Muslims entering the country. (One poll specified that it would be temporary, while the other did not.) In both polls, support for the ban was above 30 percent even among Democrats.