The press secretary for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign copied down her dictation of his statement proposing a ban on Muslim immigration to save as a piece of history, according to a Washington Post tick-tock of how the campaign settled on the controversial idea. Trump and his advisers first started discussing the ban after the Paris terrorist attack last November, and had it finalized after the Dec. 2 San Bernardino shooting. Nevertheless, the campaign opted to hold its release until Dec. 7, the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor, for symbolic reasons, the Post said.
The Post talked to one of the advisers behind the idea, Michael Glassner– then the campaign’s political director — who said he and Trump were influenced by the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
“Why wouldn’t you start by trying to identify this demographic coming into the United States and see what they’re doing,” Glassner told the Post. “It has nothing to do with religion; I think it had everything to do with the facts of who was perpetrating these crimes.”
Trump faced a major backlash to the idea — much of it coming from leaders in his own party — during the GOP primary, and once he emerged as the presumptive Republican nominee, he looked ready to walk it back by calling it a “suggestion.” The mass shooting in Orlando has prompted Trump to take a hard line on the position again.
While he was touting the ban in the primary, Trump told a myth from the stump that U.S. General John J. Pershing shot Muslim prisoners in the Philippines with bullets soaked in pigs’ blood. (The story has been debunked by snopes.com).
Trump’s former top adviser Corey Lewandowski — who, since talking to the Post, has been fired — said that Trump planned to tell the story in advance of the February speech where he first mentioned it and that it didn’t matter that it wasn’t true.
“It’s not about that,” Lewandowski said. “Look, it’s an analogy.”