There has been speculation that Donald Trump is backpedaling from his proposal to ban Muslims from entering America after he has fallen slightly behind Hillary Clinton in the polls, a turn of events that has prompted mixed messages from his campaign on the controversial issue.
However, Trump’s national campaign spokesperson Katrina Pierson told CNN’s “The Situation Room” on Monday that there has “been no change,” and people were just confused about the presidential candidate’s policy.
“It is only really a change if you never knew what the ban was to begin with,” she said. “The news media has been reporting that the official ban was against all Muslims, but that was never the case, it was simply for Muslim immigration.
“Mr. Trump is simply adding specifics to clarify what his position is as opposed to what the media has been reporting,” she continued. “There has been no change to this, Mr. Trump still wants to stop individuals from coming into this country who cannot be vetted.”
Meanwhile, in a soundbite from Trump himself recorded on Dec. 7, CNN revealed that the presidential candidate said he was “calling for a complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.”
Pierson went on to argue that Trump had been reading from an immigration policy during his December speech “so the context there was extremely important … since that statement was made, we have had the CIA and the FBI come out and tell us that we have ISIS soldiers who are infiltrating the refugee program coming into the United States, Mr. Trump does not want that.”
She went on to refer to the San Bernardino shooting massacre as an example of Muslim terrorists exploiting the visa system to “kill Americans … and create homegrown terrorism.”
The idea of a Muslim ban has long been controversial and has been condemned by Republican party leaders, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
Trump was tied with Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, in late May and now lags by more than 6 percentage points, according to the Real Clear Politics polling average, the Wall Street Journal reported.
See the video interview with Pierson below.
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) June 27, 2016