It was exactly one year ago that Donald Trump said he would “absolutely” implement forced registration for all Muslims living in the United States. Sunday morning, his chief of staff confirmed that the President-elect still isn’t ruling it out.
On Meet The Press, host Chuck Todd asked Reince Priebus whether he could equivocally rule out a registry for Muslims. He responded, “Look, I’m not going to rule out anything.”
From there, the former RNC chairman made a series of conflicting statements, often times trying to correct himself mid-sentence. He said, “We’re not going to have a registry based on a religion,” but he also said that Trump supports banning entry of people from any country that “harbors or trains terrorists.”
Todd pressed Priebus on the issue, citing a tweet from Trump’s National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn that said that “fear of Muslims is rational.” Priebus seemed to indicate that Trump disagrees, because “he believes that no faith in and of itself should be judged as a whole,” but he still believes certain countries should be banned from allowing people to enter the United States.
In a separate interview Sunday morning on ABC’s This Week, Priebus similarly said of Islam, “Clearly there are some aspects of that faith that are problematic. And we know them. We’ve seen it. But it certainly isn’t a blanket for all people of that faith.”
The Trump transition team has sent many mixed messages in the past week about the President-elect’s stance on Muslim registration and immigration. On Tuesday night, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has advised Trump, again recommended a national database for Muslim immigrants. Trump surrogate Carl Higbie agreed Wednesday that it would be legal, citing Japanese internment camps set up during World War II.
Jason Miller, a spokesperson for the transition team, then claimed that Trump had “never advocated for any registry or system that tracks individuals based on their religion.” Miller’s statement is contradicted by a video of Trump blatantly endorsing such a registry.