Donald Trump on Wednesday implied that recent attacks in Europe justified his campaign trail call to ban Muslim immigration to the United States.
While speaking to reporters outside his Mar-a-Lago estate, Trump was asked whether attacks in Europe and the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey this week had caused him to re-evaluate his previous proposals to create a Muslim registry or ban Muslim immigration to the U.S.
“You know my plans,” he replied, without getting into specifics. “All along, I’ve been proven to be right. One hundred percent correct. What’s happening is disgraceful.”
Trump did not contest in that response that he had plans for a Muslim registry, as he did in November of last year, even though his spokesman Jason Miller issued a statement last month saying that the President-elect “has never advocated for any registry or system that tracks individuals based on their religion, and to imply otherwise is completely false.”
On Monday, a truck whose driver is still at large barreled into a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 and injuring dozens more. Trump released a statement afterwards that read in part: “ISIS and other Islamist terrorists continually slaughter Christians in their communities and places of worship as part of their global jihad,” even though the Islamic State had not claimed credit for the attack at that point and it’s still unclear if the attacker had been directed by the group.
Asked about that statement Wednesday, and how it might affect relationships with Muslims, Trump said that the Berlin attack was “an attack on humanity. That’s what it is. An attack on humanity and it’s got to be stopped.”
Trump speaking to reporters at all is noteworthy. It has been 147 days since he last held a formal press conference.