During a town hall on MSNBC Wednesday, Donald Trump indicated that if he implemented a ban on Muslims entering the United States, he would still allow his wealthy Muslim friends to come into the country.
After moderator Chris Matthews asked Trump how a ban on Muslim immigrants would encourage people to fight the Islamic State, Trump said, “I have been called by more Muslims saying what you are doing is a great thing, not a bad thing.”
When pressed by Matthews, Trump added, “I have, actually, believe it or not, I have a lot of friends that are Muslim and they call me. In most cases, they’re very rich Muslims.”
“But do they get into the country?” Matthews then asked.
“Oh, they’ll come in,” Trump responded, later adding that the ban will have exceptions.
In December, the real estate mogul proposed keeping Muslims from entering the country, and quickly began offering exceptions to his ban. He said that foreign leaders and athletes who are Muslim would be allowed to come to the United States.
On Wednesday, Matthews also asked Trump how his proposed ban would help the fight against the Islamic State, arguing that it could deter Muslims from fighting ISIL.
“Anywhere there’s Muslims, you know, they know you don’t want them. So they get the message. They’re little more ill-disposed to fight ISIS, a little bit more after that once they say the Americans don’t even like us, don’t you think?” Matthews asked.
“I don’t know, maybe they’ll be more disposed to fight ISIS,” Trump responded. “Maybe they’ll say, ‘We want to come back into America. We gotta solve this problem.’ I’m serious about that.”