Donald Trump responded to a debate question Sunday night voicing concerns about Islamophobia by repeating a debunked smear about Muslim Americans.
A Muslim American audience members had asked a question about discrimination against Muslim Americans. Trump initially responded by saying that Islamophobia was a “shame,” but then returned to a theme of his campaign: that Muslim Americans are not reporting radicals in their midst.
In particular, Trump leaned on a repeatedly proven falsehood about the San Bernardino attack: that “many people” saw bombs in open view in the apartment of the attackers ahead of time.
“You’re right about Islamophobia and that’s a shame,” Trump began. “One thing we have to do is we have to make sure that— Because there is a problem. Whether we like it or not, and we could be very politically correct, but whether we like it or not, there is a problem and we have to be sure that Muslims come in and report when they see something going on. When they see hate going on, they have to report it.”
Then he brought up the bogus San Bernardino story, which has been widely debunked.
“In San Bernardino, many people saw the bombs all over the apartment of the two people that killed 14 and wounded many, many people,” he said, incorrectly. “Muslims have to report the problems when they see them.”
“And you know, there’s always a reason for everything,” he continued. “If they don’t do that, it’s a very difficult situation for our country because you look at Orlando. And you look at San Bernardino and the World Trade Center. Look at Paris.”
“The horrible— These are radical islamic terrorists. And she won’t even mention the word and nor will President Obama,” Trump said. “He won’t use the term radical Islamic terrorism. Now, to solve the problem, you have to be able to state what the problem is, or at least say the name. She won’t say the name and President Obama won’t say the name. But the name is there. It’s radical Islamic terror and before you solve it, you have to say the name.”