Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a top policy adviser to President-elect Donald Trump, created a controversy on Tuesday night when he recommended a national database which would target Muslim immigrants.
The controversy grew Wednesday when another top Trump surrogate, Carl Higbie, said such a registry would be legal. Higbie said there was “precedent,” citing the internment of the Japanese during World War II.
Trump transition spokesman Jason Miller attempted to defuse the issue on Thursday, claiming Trump “never advocated for any registry or system that tracks individuals based on their religion.” Any suggestion otherwise, according to Miller, is “completely false.”
This statement is a lie. Trump explicitly advocated for a Muslim registry on November 19, 2015.
“Should there be a database system that tracks Muslims here in this country?” Trump was asked by an NBC News reporter.
“There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases. We should have a lot of systems and today you can do it,” Trump said.
The reporter followed up: “But that’s something your White House would like to implement?”
“Oh, I would certainly implement that,” Trump replied definitively.
The exchange was captured on video.
As a candidate, Trump also famously called for a complete ban on Muslims entering the United States. That policy, which is still on the Trump website, would certainly require a tracking system for immigrants and potential immigrants based on their religion.
The statement issued by the Trump transition reflects a contempt for the truth. The Trump team either knows they are putting out a statement that is an obvious lie or is so uninterested in the truth they did not bother to check.