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Trump, who trails Carson in two polls released in Iowa last week, said he "just didn't know" about Seventh-Day Adventists while speaking in Florida on Saturday. Some conservatives claim Seventh-Day Adventists – a Protestant sect that believes Christ’s return to Earth is imminent and observe Sabbath on Saturdays — are not Christian.
“I know nothing about it really – I’m a Presbyterian and I had mentioned that, and I did say I don’t know about it, and in fact those are my exact word, so I just really don’t know about the Seventh-Day Adventists, and that’s what I said,” Trump told George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” Sunday.
Asked if it was a calculated attack to bolster his numbers with Evangelicals, who Carson leads with in Iowa according to a poll released last week, Trump said, “Not at all and I think nationwide I am beating Ben with the Evangelicals but no not at all. I just don’t know about that particular religion.”
“I’d never say bad about any religion," he added. "I said exactly ‘I don’t know about it.’ That’s not an insult.”
Trump suggested he wouldn't apologize to Carson over the comments.
“Well, I didn’t say anything bad about it," he said. "I would certainly give an apology if I said something bad about it, but I didn’t – all I said was ‘I don’t know about it.’”
Despite Carson’s advances in Iowa, Trump still leads the Republican presidential pack in several national polls.