Bill O'Reilly, Donald Trump (Credit: Fox News)

Bill O'Reilly attacks Donald Trump for his Muslim immigration ban: "You're hurting the USA's position against ISIS!"

Trump insisted that the ban on a single religion "isn't about religion -- this is about security"


Scott Eric Kaufman
December 10, 2015 6:21PM (UTC)

On "The O'Reilly Factor" Wednesday evening, host Bill O'Reilly lit into GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump, insisting that it is possible to vet refugees and that insulting an entire religion is "hurting the USA's position against ISIS."

"If you are elected president, what will you do regarding Muslims who are not Americans traveling to the USA?" O'Reilly began by asking.

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"I would try to find out what is going," Trump answered. "Why the hatred, why are people willing to fly planes into the World Trade Center? Why did those two people last week go into a room and start shooting people? It's a very serious problem and somebody had to bring it up."

Of course Trump answered with a non-answer, so O'Reilly had no choice but to upbraid him. "You didn't answer my question," he said. "What would you do to Muslims coming from overseas?"

Trump replied that "I would set up a strong temporary system to see who qualifies to come in and who does not until we come up with an answer about what's happening with the Muslim population."

"If you say no Muslims can come here from overseas," O'Reilly shot back, "you are hurting the USA's position against ISIS."

"I disagree," Trump replied. "People have to be vetted. This is about security, it's not about religion, and we cannot allow people to come into this country who have horrible things in their minds."

When O'Reilly tendered that "I don't think you have thought through the unintended consequences of banning an entire religion from coming to the United States," the ever-humble Trump replied, "I have thought through everything, believe me."

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Trump later said that Islamic extremism is "a very, very serious problem, and somebody had to bring it up. Maybe it's not politically correct to do it, but somebody had to bring it up. And a lot of people are very thankful I did it."

But as O'Reilly noted, "you can't insult a whole religion" and expect the United States to be effective in the war on terrorism. "We're not insulting," Trump replied. "This is about security, it's not about religion. We have a president that doesn't have a clue. He doesn't know what's going on. All I'm doing is bringing a situation to the forefront that everybody is talking about and nobody wants to do anything about it."

Watch the entire interview below via Fox News.

Bill O'Reilly Talks 'Interesting Phenomenon' Donald Trump on 'Kimmel'


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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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Aol_on Bill O'reilly Donald Trump Elections 2016 Fox News Islamophobia The O'reilly Factor Video

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