New York Post – Donald Trump said Sunday that his proposal to suspend immigration from countries “compromised by terrorism” is actually an expansion of his plan to ban foreign Muslims from entering the U.S.
The GOP nominee didn’t mention the Muslim ban during his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention speech on Thursday, instead saying that immigration from countries undermined by terrorism.
Asked if the change in phrasing meant he’d stepped back from the plan, Trump told NBC’s “Meet the Press” it was just the opposite.
“I actually don’t think it’s a rollback,” Trump said in the interview that aired Sunday. “In fact, you could say it’s an expansion. I’m looking now at territory. People were so upset when I used the word Muslim. Oh, you can’t use the word Muslim. Remember this. And I’m okay with that, because I’m talking territory instead of Muslim.”
Trump admitted his new stance could now affect allies like France, rocked by ISIS terror attacks in Nice and Paris.
“It’s their own fault, because they’ve allowed people over years to come into their territory,” Trump said. “And that’s why Brexit happened, okay? Because the U.K. is saying, “We’re tired of this stuff, what’s going on, we’re tired of.’’”
Trump did not say which countries could be affected under the plan, but promised “extreme vetting.”
“We’re going to have tough standards,” he said. “And if a person can’t prove … that they’re from an area, and if a person can’t prove what they have to be able to prove, they’re not coming into this country. And I would stop the Syrian migration and a Syrian from coming into this country in two seconds.”
It appeared that Trump had backed off his December Muslim ban plan.
Last month, the tycoon announced that as president he would “suspend immigration from areas of the world when there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe, or our allies.”
In a separate interview airing Sunday night, Trump said he saved rival Ted Cruz from more political humiliation by entering the convention area Wednesday night as the Texas senator was getting booed for his non-endorsement.
“In retrospect, I wish I would have waited another minute. Because he was being booed right off the stage,” Trump said in a separate interview to air Sunday night on Showtime’s “The Circus.”
“I walked in and the arena went crazy. Because there’s great unity in the Republican Party, and people don’t know it. Had I not walked in, I think that audience would have ripped him off the stage. I think I did him a big favor.”
Trump plans to fund super-PACs aimed at ending the political careers of Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who shunned Trump’s convention in his home state.
Cruz’s “life in politics may be over because people are so angry with him,” he said.