Trump under Fire for Failure to Rebut Anti-Muslim Backer
The campaign trail exchange triggered the latest uproar over the Republican frontrunner’s regard for minorities in America, and prompted at least one Republican White House hopeful to say he would have corrected the man immediately.
“We have a problem in this country, it’s called Muslims. We know our current president is one, you know he’s not even an American,” an unidentified man told Trump at the billionaire real estate magnate’s campaign stop late Thursday in Rochester, New Hampshire.
Trump chuckled and interrupted him to say, “We need this question. This is the first question.”
“Anyway, we have training camps growing where they want to kill us,” the man resumed. “That’s my question: When can we get rid of them?”
“A lot of people are saying that, and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening out there,” Trump responded.
Trump quickly moved on to another questioner, without addressing the man’s assertions about Obama -- which reflect a lingering misconception among the American public.
Thursday’s exchange prompted outrage from Democrats and demands for an apology.
Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton tweeted that Trump’s failure to denounce the “hateful rhetoric about Muslims is disturbing, & just plain wrong. Cut it out.”
Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said his candidate did not hear the question about Obama’s religion.
“All he heard was a question about training camps, which he said we have to look into,” Lewandowski told CNN.