Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” Sunday that although he canceled a planned trip to Israel to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu, following the latter’s response to his proposed ban on Muslims entering the US, it did not mean that world leaders, including Netanyahu, are “distancing themselves” from him.
“I saw Netanyahu put out a statement distancing himself from you,” Tapper said.
“They’re not distancing themselves. I had a meeting with Natanyahu. I could be at the meeting right now,” Trump said.
“But he condemned your remarks is all I’m saying,” Tapper replied.
“He did, and that was sort of interesting. He modestly condemned them, and I thought it was sort of inappropriate that he condemned them, but that’s OK. He wanted to condemn them, that’s what he does. OK? But we have a problem,” Trump stated. “I’m not looking to be politically correct. I’m doing this to do the right thing. This and other things. When I say this — I’m running to do the right thing. I’m doing the right thing. Our country has a problem. People are in fear. They’re waiting for the next attack.”
Three out of four polls taken in Iowa since the first time Trump proposed the ban on Muslims entering the US are showing Sen. Ted Cruz surpassing the billionaire candidate: DMR Bloomberg Cruz 31 to Trump 21; Fox News Cruz 28 to Trump 26; Monmouth Cruz 24 to Trump 19. The only poll that gives Trump the advantage was taken by CNN/NBC starting Nov. 28, through Dec. 6, before the anti-Muslim idea had a chance to spread.
Trump also told Tapper, “I have many friends that are Muslims, and I will tell you, they are so happy that I did this because they know they have a problem.”
“They support a ban on Muslims entering the US?” Tapper asked.
“No,” Trump admitted, “they said it’s about time that somebody spoke up as to radicalism. You have radicalism in this country. It’s here, and it’s trying to come through. … When my friends call me up, and they call me up very strongly, and they say — these are Muslims — and they say, ‘It’s something, Donald, that has to be talked about.'”
Tapper pressed on: “But they don’t support the ban?”
“Not really. I mean, why would they support the ban?” Trump said. “But without the ban, you’re not going to make the point. You’re not going to be able to make the point.”
Trump told Tapper he wants to know why the terrorists hate America so much. “We want to find out what’s going on. Here’s what I want to ask: Why is there such hatred? Why is there such death? Where does this hatred come from? … And it’s from a group of people. It’s from a specific group of people. OK? Why is there such total hatred?”