NEWTON, Iowa — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump voiced support Thursday evening for creating a mandatory database to track Muslims in the United States – the latest in an escalating series of responses following the deadly attacks in Paris.
“I would certainly implement that. Absolutely,” Trump told an NBC News reporter between campaign events in Newton, Iowa, according to video posted on MSNBC.com.
He said Muslims would be signed up at “different places,” adding: “It’s all about management.”
Asked whether registering would be mandatory, Trump responded: “They have to be.”
The latest comments come less than a week after the deadly attacks on a concert hall, sports stadium and restaurants in Paris that have elevated fears of attacks in in the U.S. and prompted calls for new restrictions on Syrian refugees fleeing their war-torn country.
While some of his rivals have been chastised by the president for suggesting that Christian Syrian refugees be given preference over Muslims, Trump has gone further in his rhetoric, advocating new restrictions on civil liberties and enhanced surveillance activities, including inside mosques.
He said earlier this week that the country was “going to have no choice” but to close certain mosques because “really bad things are happening, and they’re happening fast.”
The first reference to the database idea came in an interview with Yahoo News published earlier Thursday in which the billionaire real estate mogul did not reject the idea of requiring Muslims to register in a database or giving them special identification cards noting their religion.
“We’re going to have to – we’re going to have to look at a lot of things very closely,” Trump told Yahoo News.
He also suggested he would consider warrantless searches, according to the outlet, saying: “We’re going to have to do things that we never did before.”
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