Donald Trump again singled out Muslim Americans on Wednesday, arguing that even those who have been in the country for generations can’t assimilate to U.S. culture and that “a percentage” of them want to carry out terrorist attacks.
During a sit-down interview, Fox News’ Sean Hannity asked Trump about the motivation of people who immigrate to the U.S. from countries with Sharia law.
“How do we vet somebody’s heart and ascertain if they’re coming here for freedom or want to indoctrinate and bring theocracy with them?” Hannity asked.
“Assimilation has been very hard,” Trump replied. “It’s almost, I won’t say nonexistent, but it gets to be pretty close. I’m talking about second and third generation. They come, they don’t— for some reason there’s no real assimilation.”
“Right,” said Hannity.
Trump went on to suggest that many Muslims who come to the US and even a “percentage” of the 3.3 million already living here want to wage jihad against Americans.
“There is a percentage of people that want to do what this maniac did in Orlando,” he said. “There’s a percentage of people. That percentage becomes—the number of people become more and more as we take in thousands and thousands of more people. There’s a hate that’s going on that’s unbelievable. Okay? Unbelievable. They don’t mind dying. That’s a hate that’s going on that’s unbelievable. And we allow it to happen.”
Trump has ramped up his rhetoric against Muslims in the US and abroad in the wake of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida this weekend that left 49 dead. The shooter, Omar Mateen, was a New York-born Muslim who authorities say recently self-radicalized online.
In response, the presumptive GOP nominee renewed his call for a ban on Muslim immigration and called for greater surveillance of mosques and Muslim enclaves in the U.S.
Trump also repeatedly suggested that Muslim Americans intentionally choose to withhold information about potential terrorist threats from authorities. He made this claim again on Hannity’s show.
“What’s happened now with the attack, and there will be others because we don’t have the vigilance,” Trump said. “And the Muslims are not turning in. If you look at what’s going on—they’re not turning people in.”