Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump is reeling in his rhetoric to ban Muslims from entering the US, telling an interviewer that it’s only a “suggestion”.
“We have a serious problem. It’s a temporary ban,” Trump told Fox News radio on Wednesday. “It hasn’t been called for yet. Nobody’s done it. This is just a suggestion until we find out what’s going on.”
Trump sparked serious concerns in the US and around the world with his remarks on Muslims, which he has had to justify, defend, explain and tone down since.
He has said foreign leaders will be exempted, but a direct offer to London’s new mayor Sadiq Khan was rejected outright by the latter in a recent exchange.
Trump sought a temporary ban on Muslims entering the US in December after the San Bernardino terrorist attack carried out by a Pakistani-origin couple that killed 14 people.
The attack triggered a fresh wave of fears about terrorism across the US, comparable in polls only to the post-9/11 fallout. And Trump’s call was aimed at tapping into those concerns.