Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump tonight defended his latest controversial proposal to bar Muslims from entering the United States, drawing cheers at a rally when he said “we have no idea if they love us or hate us.”
“We’re out of control; we have no idea who is coming into our country,” Trump said at the rally in South Carolina. “I want ISIS to surrender.”
Trump said he watched President Obama’s address to the nation Sunday night and said the president appeared “he didn't know why he was there. He refuses to use the term 'radical Islamic terrorism.' He refuses to use the term. I don't even know if he knows what the hell is going on.”
In a statement released earlier today, Trump called for a "total and complete shutdown" of Muslims entering the United States until "our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."
Reading from the statement tonight at a rally aboard the USS Yorktown in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, Trump said, "Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life."
When asked earlier today which Muslims would be banned from entering, Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowki told ABC News "the ban applies to everyone."
Trump had also tweeted before the rally:
Just put out a very important policy statement on the extraordinary influx of hatred & danger coming into our country. We must be vigilant!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2015
First-time Trump rally attendee Chris Posa tonight said “at this point I kind of agree with it. We got problems, we have to be vigilant.”
Trump also encouraged his supporters not to "worry about profiling."
"When we see violations, you have to report those violations, and quickly," he told them tonight. "Don't worry about profiling. I promise I will defend you from profiling. I promise."
Afterward, JoAnn Waller, a supporter who has attended a Trump rally in the past, pointed to recent terrorism, saying "I liked what he said about Muslims. It’s not that I’m against Muslims; I think it’s important to get control and understand what is going on.”
Mackie Moore, who is not a Trump supporter but attended tonight because her children would get school extra credit for attending a political rally, said "I don’t believe 25 percent of Muslims want to see us dead. It was a little scary to me that you could classify one group with a blanket statement. That really is scary to me.”