The media firestorm is much ado about nothing, as usual. Donald Trump’s latest media and political firestorm stems from ambiguous answers to a reporter’s question: Whether he would support making Muslims register in a national database. But his comments are not quite as cut-and-dried as the headlines would make them seem.
FOX News The headlines started after Yahoo News published an article Thursday based on an interview with the Republican presidential candidate. The reporter apparently asked Trump whether new security measures might involve a database to register Muslims in the U.S.
When he replied, “We’re going to have to — we’re going to have to look at a lot of things very closely” including mosques, Yahoo News reported that Trump did not “rule [the database] out.”
He was then asked by CNN whether he would rule out such a database, to which Trump said he “never responded to that question” during the Yahoo News interview. But a separate exchange with NBC News muddied the picture of his position further. The reporter initially asked Trump whether there should be a database to track Muslims.
“We should have a lot of systems,” Trump responded, but then went on to tout the importance of a strong border and a border wall. Asked whether he would like to implement that, Trump responded: “I would certainly implement that. Absolutely.”
That single line was swiftly interpreted in several news stories as Trump’s endorsement of a database for Muslims, in turn prompting a widespread backlash. Some stories even stated that Trump had proposed a “plan” to register Muslims in a database.
However, in the NBC News exchange, Trump appeared to be referring in that single line to border and immigration security measures, because he then said the effect would be, “It would stop people from coming in illegally.”
Yet the reporter went on to ask Trump directly, once again, about a database for Muslims, and Trump did not dismiss the idea. Instead, when asked how to do it, Trump said: “It would be just good management.” Asked if those running it would have to go to mosques, he said: “Different places. You sign them up … but it’s all about management.