President Trump says he will create 'safe zones' in Syria and get Gulf states to pay for them

Trump spoke at an event the White House called a "campaign rally."

ByABC News
February 18, 2017, 7:03 PM

— -- President Trump, speaking at a campaign rally in Florida on Saturday evening, said he wants to establish "safe zones" in Syria and other places instead of taking people into the U.S., and that the Gulf states would pay for those safe zones, saying that "they have nothing but money."

Trump also continued his attacks on media organizations, labeling them "fake news" even as he continued to state information that is factually incorrect.

Trump repeated claims that thousands of people have entered the United States without vetting, despite the fact that legal immigrants and refugees go through an extensive process before entering the country. Trump has previously mentioned the idea of "safe zones" but has not specified that Gulf states would pay for them.

"We've allowed thousands and thousands of people into our country and there was no way to vet those people, there was no documentation there was no nothing. So, we're going to keep our country safe," Trump said.

He did not elaborate on what the "safe zones" would be but said people would be able to "stay there and live safely in their cities" until Syria is stabilized. He went on to say that "we want people that love us," in the United States.

The United Nations estimates that more than 6 million people have been displaced by the civil war in Syria with almost 5 million in areas that are under siege.

Trump has mentioned "safe zones" as part of the controversial executive action that banned people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S., including refugees from Syria.

In an interview with ABC News' David Muir, Trump said that he would take action to block people with "evil intentions" from entering the country.

"I'm gonna be the president of a safe country. We have enough problems. Now I'll absolutely do safe zones in Syria for the people," Trump said in the interview in January. "I think that Europe has made a tremendous mistake by allowing these millions of people to go into Germany and various other countries. And all you have to do is take a look. It's -- it's a disaster what's happening over there."

The executive order that established the travel ban was halted by a federal judge but a new executive order on immigration is expected as soon as next week.

Trump also repeated his criticism of NATO, saying that other countries are "not paying their bills."

The president also said he was a "NATO fan" but his comments Saturday contrasted with those made by Vice President Mike Pence this weekend. In a trip overseas, Pence told European allies that the U.S. strongly supports the alliance with NATO.

Trump repeated several popular promises from his campaign that he will "repeal and replace" Obamacare and pull out of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), saying "jobs are starting to pour back in."

He also referenced several of the executive actions he has signed, like one intended to reduce government regulations. In praising newly-confirmed EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Trump said that regulations like those requiring environmental impact statements were "clogging up the veins of our country."

At the beginning of the rally, Trump told attendees he wanted to speak to people "without the filter of the fake news."

"They have their own agenda and their agenda is not your agenda," Trump said.

Trump called news organizations like ABC News and The New York Times "the enemy of the American people" in a Tweet on Friday, the day after a combative press conference with White House reporters.

The rally was listed on Trump's campaign website. Trump filed paperwork for his re-election in 2020 on the day he was inaugurated, though he also wrote that the filing was not an formal announcement. The filing allows Trump's campaign to solicit donations and raise money for a possible 2020 bid for re-election.

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