Trump denies trip to Jordan, defends vow to bar Muslims
GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump Tuesday denied an Associated Press report he planned to visit Jordan only hours after the wire service said he planned to go there.
The AP reported that Trump’s visit to Jordan, an overwhelmingly Muslim country, would take place during his trip to Israel, which he previously disclosed during an interview last week. It said his campaign had told U.S. government officials he wanted to meet with King Abdullah.
Hours after the report, Trump took to Twitter, saying “Despite my great respect for King Abdullah II, I will not be visiting Jordan at this time. This is in response to the false @AP report.”
The report came one day after Trump’s controversial proposal to temporarily ban all Muslims from entering the United States to protect the nation from Islamic terrorism.
In an interview with ABC News on Tuesday, Trump responded to concerns raised by critics his rhetoric may help ISIS attract new recruits.
“I’m the worst thing that ever happened to ISIS. The people in my party fully understand that — they’re running against me. For the most part, they have no poll numbers. I’m leading by a lot. They get it. They’re trying to get publicity for themselves,” Trump told ABC’s Barbara Walters. “You know when I came out against illegal immigration, everybody said the same thing. Two weeks later, everybody was on my side, including the members of my own party.”
Trump compared his plan to that of former President D. Roosevelt, which placed limits on the rights of Japanese, German, and Italian nationals following the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941.
When asked by Walters whether he regretted the proposal, Trump said: “Not at all. We have to do the right thing. Somebody in this country has to say what’s right.”
The real estate mogul added that he had “tremendous relationships” with people in the Muslim community, and denied that he is a bigot and said that he was thinking about the future of the U.S.
“I’m a person who has common sense. I’m a smart person. I know how to run things. I know how to make America great again. This is about making America great,” he told ABC News.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.