Donald Trump (Reuters/Rick Wilking)

Donald Trump: Mandatory registration of American Muslims in Nazi-like database "would just be good management"

The GOP front-runner declined to offer specifics about how his Muslim ID program would difference from the Nazis'


Scott Eric Kaufman
November 20, 2015 6:09PM (UTC)

On Thursday, "The Rachel Maddow Show" attempted to follow up with GOP front-runner Donald Trump about his comments regarding the creation of a database for American Muslims -- a fear-mongering policy suggestion so similar to those enacted by the Nazis prior to the Second World War that host Rachel Maddow acquired tapes of the original exchange to be sure that the candidate's words were not being taken out of context.

The original tape revealed that the suggestion came from the reporter, Yahoo News' Hunter Walker, and that Trump was merely agreeing with him -- however, when NBC News' embed on the Trump campaign, Vaughn Hillyard, later asked the candidate to clarify his statements, Trump openly espoused the idea Walker had suggested.

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"There should be a lot of systems," Trump said, "and today we can do it. But we've got to have a border, we've got to have strength, we've got to have a wall. We can not let what's happening to this country happen."

"This is something your White House would like to implement?" Hillyard asked.

"I would certainly like to implement it," Trump replied. "Absolutely."

"For Muslims specifically, how would you get them registered into a database?" asked Hillyard.

"It would just be good management," Trump said. "Good management." He suggested that the government could collect this information in mosques "and other places."

Hillyard also asked a series of more direct questions, including "Why would Muslim databases not be the same thing as requiring Jews to register in Nazi Germany? What would be the difference? Is there a difference between the two?"

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Trump declined to answer these, saying only, "You tell me." Hillyard pressed him, asking "Should Muslims be fearful? Will there be consequences if they don't register?" But Trump refused to answer those questions either.

Maddow said that given the extreme nature of these statements, her producers reached out to the Trump campaign for even more clarification, but had yet to hear back.

Watch the entire segment below via MSNBC.


Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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Donald Trump Elections 2016 Nazi Germany The Rachel Maddow Show Video

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