On Friday, a Donald Trump spokesman claimed the President-elect never, ever advocated a database tracking Muslim immigrants. Except that’s untrue.
Communications director Jason Miller, who works for the White House transition team, sent The Guardian this statement:
President-elect Trump has never advocated for any registry or system that tracks individuals based on their religion, and to imply otherwise is completely false.
The national registry of foreign visitors from countries with high terrorism activity that was in place during the Bush and Obama administrations gave intelligence and law enforcement communities additional tools to keep our country safe, but the president-elect plans on releasing his own vetting policies after he is sworn in.
Except Trump did call for the use of a database to track Muslims. Here’s video from a November, 2015 event in Newton Iowa.
An NBC reporter asked if there should be a database system that tracks Muslims in the county.
“Oh, I would certainly implement that,” he said, talking about it context of his immigration policy. He later added, “The key is people can come to the county, but they have to come in legally.”
During an autograph signing, Trump was asked if there’s a difference between a Muslim registry and the registration of Jews in Nazi Germany. “You tell me,” Trump said several times, apparently dismissive of the question.
Reuters reported that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said he and an immigration policy team plan to recommend to Trump that he reinstate the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS). This program—which ran from the Bush Administration in 2002 to the middle of the Obama Administration in 2011—put visitors and immigrants to the U.S. on a database they came from countries with extremist organizations. This has led to some blowback. Fox News’ Megyn Kelly grilled Trump Surrogate Carl Higbie after he defended the reported Muslim registry by citing the internment of Japanese-Americans as precedent.
[Screegrab via NBC]