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Election Watch 2016

Trump amps up calls to ban Muslim entry, monitor U.S. Muslims

(JTA) — Donald Trump amped up his calls to cut off Muslim entry into the United States and to monitor U.S. Muslims, in the wake of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee, through his Twitter feed and speaking to news outlets on Monday, said a substantial threat existed among Muslims overseas and Muslims in the United States.

“First of all we have to stop people coming in from Syria, we’re taking them in by the thousands,” he told CNN, referring to Obama administration policy on Syrian refugees, which has allowed in just over two thousand this year and which sets an annual maximum of 10,000.

“This will only get worse because we have very weak leadership,” he said, and called for more monitoring of American Muslims. “We need intelligence gathering, we have to look at the mosques, we have to look at the community.”

Omar Mateen, the attacker who killed 49 people in an attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando early Sunday, was American born. He pledged allegiance to Islamic State during the attack. An array of Muslim American groups has condemned the attack.

Speaking to Fox News Channel, Trump increased the number of Syrians he claims to be entering the country each year to “tens of thousands” and said they were not vetted. U.S. officials vet asylum applicants from Syria for up to two years before allowing them in.

Trump accused Muslims in the United States of not reporting terrorists in their midst.

“You have many, many people, thousands of people living in our country, people who are around them, Muslims, know who they are,” he said. “People in [Mateen’s] community and their community, they know who the people are, almost in every case, they know who they are, they brag about it, they talk about it, they have to turn them in.” He did not cite evidence showing that Mateen’s coreligionists in his south Florida community knew he was planning a terrorist attack.

Trump called on President Barack Obama to resign and Hillary Clinton to quit the race, for not saying that “radical Islam” is at fault. Clinton rejected the accusation. “I have clearly said that we face terrorist enemies who use Islam to justify slaughtering innocent people,” she told NBC. “We have to defeat radical jihadist terrorism and we will. And to me, radical Jihadism, radical Islamism, I think they mean the same thing. I’m happy to say either, but that’s not the point.”

Obama described the attack as emblematic of “homegrown extremism” that “perverts” Islam, and said it was critical to confront the ideology fuelling it. “Countering this extremist ideology is increasingly going to be just as important as making sure we’re disrupting” Islamic State activities overseas,” he said.

Trump on Fox appeared to suggest that Obama knew more about radical Islamic plots than he was saying. “He doesn’t get it or he gets it better than anyone understands, it’s one or the other, and either one is unacceptable,” Trump said of Obama.

Even before the shooting, Trump was promising to make his proposed ban on Muslims a centerpiece of his campaign. On Friday, June 10, he told a conservative Christian group he would defend Israel and protect American Christians.

“We will respect and defend Christian Americans,” he said, addressing the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference in Washington, D.C. “Christian Americans,” he added, for emphasis. He said Americans faced dangers from Islamic extremists, and he would keep them out, promising “new immigration controls to keep us safe from radical Islamic terrorism.” He said at the Christian forum that his policy would extend to protecting Israel as well.

“We must continue to forge our partnership with Israel and work to ensure Israel’s security,” he said.

 

David Duke blames Trump U controversy on Jews

(JTA) — White supremacist David Duke blamed the current controversy over Donald Trump’s now defunct unaccredited university on “Jewish manipulation of the American media.” Duke said June 8 on his radio show that media coverage of the Trump University case is “very illustrative of the Jewish tribal nature.” Duke also said: “They’re like a pack of wild dogs when they go after someone who they see as a threat to the Jewish agenda, as the neocons see Trump as a threat as a non-interventionist.”

According to Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, an “overwhelmingly Jewish” firm is behind a fraud lawsuit against Trump University. Trump has been slammed for saying he does not believe the judge in the case, an Indiana native of Mexican descent, can be impartial due to Trump’s stated views about building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. He also said “the powerful Jewish establishment that dominates international banking and finance, that dominates media, and dominates our political system” is “absolutely zeroing in now on Donald Trump.”

“The viciousness of these Jews is unbelievable. I think this whole Trump University case really exploited, can really expose the entire Jewish manipulation of the American media, the American political process,” Duke said.

Duke singled out CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, who is Jewish, for leading the attack on Trump, as well as the network’s host Jake Tapper, also Jewish, and pointed out the network is run by Jeff Zucker, who he called “another Jewish extremist.”

In February, Duke endorsed Trump on his radio program, telling his listeners to volunteer for and vote for Trump.

In an interview days after the endorsement on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Trump told host Jake Tapper: “Just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke, OK? I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists.”

Trump disavowed the endorsement hours after the “State of the Union” interview, for the second time in three days, after refusing to do so on the program.

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