Reince Priebus, who will serve as Donald Trump’s chief of staff, on Sunday appeared open to the administration creating a registry of visitors and immigrants from certain countries.
“I’m not gonna rule out anything, but we’re not gonna have a registry based on a religion,” Priebus said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” when asked if Trump would set up a Muslim registry.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, an adviser to the Trump transition team, last week indicated that Trump could reinstate a registry created by the Bush administration that kept track of male visitors and immigrants from a list of mostly majority Muslim countries. The registry was controversial and the Obama administration stopped using it in 2011.
On Sunday, Priebus suggested that the Trump administration could simply ban certain people from entering the country.
“I think what we’re trying to do is say that there are some people, certainly not all people, Chuck, there are some people that are radicalized. And there are some people that have to be prevented from coming into this country,” he told “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd.
He added that Trump’s “position is consistent with bills in the House and the Senate that say the following: If you want to come from a place or an area around the world that harbors and trains terrorists, we have to temporarily suspend that operation until a better vetting system is put in place.”
During an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” Priebus defended comments about Islam made by retired Gen. Michael Flynn, who will serve as Trump’s national security adviser. ABC’s Martha Raddatz noted to Priebus that Flynn once said that Islam is a “political ideology” masked as a religion, and she asked if Trump’s views on Islam align with those of Flynn.
“I think so. I mean, look, phrasing can always be done differently but clearly there are some aspects of that faith that are problematic. And we know them. We’ve seen it,” Priebus replied. “But it certainly isn’t a blanket for all people of that faith, but Mike Flynn is one of the most highly respected intelligence officers in America. Certainly no one can deny that.”